Tag Archives: travel

Well Branded Austin

I wish I could say I just got back from a great weekend in Austin, but that wouldn’t be the truth!  It’s actually been months since I visited the great state of Texas where yes, everything is just bigger.  It was a quick weekend visit to see the hubby who was working out there for a while and then due to the hurricane in DC, I had to catch an even earlier flight home before the storm.  Below are some of my favorite examples of the clearly defined branding that flocked building all around the city.Austin

AND it wouldn’t be a trip to Austin without some serious tacos (including a visit to the trailer park for queso), new (to me) cowboy boots and a visit to the underside of the bridge that fills with bats… only during the day!Austin2

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Mardi Gras… a little late!

I surprised my husband with a trip to New Orleans the first weekend in February, which happened to be the start of the Mardi Gras celebration in the Crescent City!  From fried oysters with brie at Clancy’s to Muffulettas at Cochon Butcher to a new retail vendor for Haute Papier in The Stationer New Orleans to macarons and king’s cake at Sucre to the irresistible beignets at Cafe du Monde, it was a wonderful glutenous and relaxing trip!

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Cafe du Monde Beignets

I’ve been saving this one for ya… After a trip to New Orleans at the beginning of February, I knew I had to wait until today – Fat Tuesday – to share this recipe inspired by the deliciousness beyond coasted in powdered sugar from Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans’s legendary bakery.  Bon Appetit!

Cafe Du Monde Inspired Beignets
makes about six dozen

1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115F)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
6-7 cups bread flour
vegetable oil for frying
sifted powdered sugar Continue reading

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Sprinkles Georgetown!

Yes, the cupcake “revolution” is getting old, but this is the real deal… Sprinkles Cupcakes… the ORIGINAL cupcake bakery!  It’s arrived here in DC – dangerously down the street from the Haute Papier design studio… but not far enough that the walk down there will burn off the calories consumed by even one cupcake (as if I am actually able to have that kind of self-restraint!)!

We were able to get a sneak peek and ridiculous amount of tasting earlier this week at a preview for business owners in Georgetown and we’re beyond smitten with the deliciousness of the cake!  It’s perfectly crumbly with so much more flavor than another cupcakes shop in Georgetown, whose name we’ll leave unmentioned, but irritates the heck out of my husband – if only because its customers have no sense of the difference between the street and sidewalk as they stand googlie-eyed taking pictures of the storefront.

We also got to meet Candace (the founder) and her husband, Charles.  Candace is just adorable – complete with cute little converse tennies with her chef’s jacket.  Welcome to DC Sprinkles!!

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A Taste of Spain

Well, I’m back… Fat, rested and with six pairs of new shoes and a couple of new kitchen toys.  What did I eat that I couldn’t get enough of, you ask?  These delicious morsels of goodness are at the top of the list.  When cooked properly, they have a light crunch on the outside and hot ooey, gooey ham meets cheese meets béchamel mixture in the middle.   Seriously, love at first bite!  Here’s the recipe I used to make them once getting home…

Jamon y Queso Croquettes
3 tbsp butter
1 spanish onion, diced
1/2 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 ounces gorgonzola dulce
8 ounces serrano ham, cut into 1/2” strips
salt & pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 eggs, beaten, at room temperature
2 cups panko (or dried bread crumbs)
canola or olive oil for frying

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A Pictoral Taste

I’m back from an incredible journey in Argentina.  We traversed the country vising Iguazu Falls, Bariloche and Buenos Aires in search of delicious food, beautiful sights and R&R and found it all.  Here’s a little sampling of the photos.  I was obsessed with the empanadas and can’t wait to try making them (stay tuned for the recipe) and the architecture (also stay tuned for more pics of this).  Enjoy!

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Adios…

I leave tomorrow for a nice long vacation in beautiful Argentina.  Though my posting will be light while I’m gone, stay tuned for a pictorial slide show of our adventures!

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The District Domestic goes to Vegas!

My husband and I spent last weekend eating our way around Vegas while visiting friends and I have so much to share!  A good vacation always takes off with a plethora of plane reading (aka restaurant research) and touches down with friends who live in the city as a guide – both of which were A+ for this trip.

It all started Friday afternoon with lunch at the much written about Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay. We ordered the Veggie Burger (I know, but I had to try it!), Kobe Beef Burger and the Black Jack Burger.  The tastiest bite was a toss up between their skinny fries and the zucchini fries. Even my non-veggie eating husband thought the zucchini fries were incredible.

Friday dinner was at Brand Steakhouse in the Monte Carlo.  We had too much to eat to list it all, but let me just tell you – it included every bit of edible indulgence you can imagine.  Favorite bite was the lobster mashed potatoes.  Favorite drink, their classic martini (seen below).

martini-with-blue-cheese-stuffed-olives

Saturday breakfast was at Bouchon Bakery in The Venetian.  Have I told you how much I love really good doughnuts? (Want to make your own?  Here’s my how to.)

bouchon-bakery-doughnuts

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The District Domestic’s Guide to 48 Hours in Portland, OR

So it’s taken me a week to get it together, but here it finally is… my guide to 48 hours in Portland, which is just about exactly how long we had in Oregon last weekend!

Day 1: Start by checking into the Hotel deLuxe for old-time Hollywood glamour and posh accommodations.  The halls are filled with black and whites of famous movie scenes and the rooms feel perfectly luxurious, without being over the top.

Be sure to include a Saturday in your trip as the Portland Farmer’s Market is one of the best I’ve seen, but more about that later… Trust me, just go!

After purchasing all sorts of goodies for a day trip (we picked up cheese, bread, miniature cookies, pizza, apples and pears), jump in the car and head for the hills (ok, they’re definitely mountains), but anyway, drive east on 84 until you get to Route 30 (The Historic Highway, which is exit 17).  Now’s, the time to sit back and enjoy the ride.  There are plenty of waterfalls along the route to do mini-hikes of less than a mile to view.  We loved the Bridal Veil Falls and Multnomah Falls, both of which have options for longer hikes.

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The District Domestic goes to Portland, OR

Posting will be light for the next couple of days as I head to Portland, OR for a long weekend of culinary indulgence, which hopefully, I can offset with some hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.

I can’t wait to share photos and stories from the trip… Until then, here’s some great links for an adventure surrounded by food in the Pacific Northwest!

For a smorgasbord of information on dining out visit Portland Food & Drink.com.  From reviews to menus to forums, they’ve got it all and with plenty of user comments verifying or denying each post.

Food Carts Portland is just what it sounds like… A blog dedicated to finding and reviewing all the food carts/trucks/stands in the Portland area.

Many say it’s one of the best in the world… Portland Farmer’s Market

Not much you can do about it, but you can’t plan a trip to Portland without checking it 1,000 times… Just try… Weather.com

Serious Eats has a great guide to eating your way through Portland, as does Food and Wine with their guide to 48 hours in Portland.

Any recommendations on places not to be missed?  First dinner on my list is Clyde Common.

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