I saw a recipe on the interwebs, and was inspired to make some food. I don’t really follow recipes so I ended up using a full dozen eggs, fresh basil and oregano, and a pound of hot I-talian sausage. I was very pleased with how it turned out. It would be easy to make ahead of time, but next time I’ll double the sausage.
Candy came up to drive Kate home, so we celebrated Chelsea’s birthday and had a mini-Christmas while they were here.
Kate flew in from LA via Alaska (United canceled her flight and sent her all over God’s half acre), and despite United losing her luggage and sending her to AK, she made it. Kate and Chelsea met us at The Salamander for a decadent brunch with Santa to celebrate Chelsea’s birthday.
My family came in from the Huntington area and Hinton. We had a great time. We had several great meals, enjoyed the farmers market, exchanged gifts, and had some wonderful (if not Christmasy) weather. Without Papaw, Lemuel, and Gary, its scary to think how differently I may have turned out. Without them, I doubt I’d hunt, own a gun, or own a truck. I probably would have never even been on a fourwheeler. I don’t get to see them often enough, but they’ve had a lot of influence on my life. Hopefully we’ll all get together again soon.
I love the Eden Center because it is so close to my home, but it really can be like being in another country. Until recently however, my favorite Vietnamese dish could only be found in Clarendon. Rice Paper at the Eden Center has a whole page of meat skewer with rice paper options. In addition, they have a lot of the dishes I’ve come to love from other Eden Center restaurants, like roasted quail. I’ve only been once for lunch, but the menu seems to be like the greatest hits from all my favorite Vietnamese restaurants. I definitely recommend Rice Paper. Go and check it out.
FJ and I went to see the Wizards earlier this month. It was the first game after Kobe announced his retirement. Save for losing and all the LA fans, it was a lot of fun. To pregame, we had a couple glasses of wine and a charcuterie and cheese plate a proof. It was a great time, and I really enjoyed getting out to my first Wiz game since EF was born. After the game we even got to put the top down despite it being December in DC.
For lunch today, HB and I went to Yayla Bistro. Some of the girls at work had been talking about it, and we finally thought to go. I haven’t done a restaurant review in a while on here. I have been busy with the little one, haven’t been out as much as we used to, and haven’t been passionate about a restaurant in a while. Yayla Bistro has broken the slump. When I think of Mediterranean food, I think of Greek. I’ve been to Greece, and I can name my top three Greek restaurants. Turkish food on the other hand, is more unknown to me. I can, however, now saw that I have a favorite Turkish restaurant. It was cold and rainy today. The Turkish coffee, sweetened to you liking, definitely warmed me up and hit the spot. My glass of Turkish wine was different, a bit thin perhaps, but delicious and infinitely drinkable. HB’s glass was even better (though she liked mine more). The Yayla soup, a special and recommended by our waiter, was amazing. Words literally fail me; I don’t know how to describe it. The complimentary bread and olive tapenade were great. The mezzes are when I started to get blown away. The grilled calamari was perfectly cooked, charred, and well-seasoned. The Halloumi cheese was surprisingly good. The orange marmalade was a better than expected accompaniment, and the cheese had a curd-like squeakiness. The Lahmacun (flatbread) was excellent as well. Next time, I’ll be hard pressed not to order the calamari and halloumi, but I’m excited to try a new entree. As good as the food was, I think the service was even better. I’m kicking myself for not getting our waiter’s name. He was very knowledgable and passionate about the wine list, had great suggestions on the menu, and answered our questions about the food and customs without judgement. He even brought me a new coffee dish (mine had some coffee spilled on it) when he saw me taking pictures. We’ll definitely be back. Probably for half-priced wine Monday, or live entertainment on Thursday.
This year I realized that the true test of how much you like your relatives is whether or not you wish they lived closer. I really wish mine did. It was great to see everyone and I hope we can all get together again soon. #SmithMountainLake16
On the day of EF’s birth, we went out to Fiola Mare. Even though EF is a very well-behaved diner, the choice in venue was really more for us. HB has done an amazing job parenting and pumping, and deserved a night out at one of the top 5 restaurants in DC. It did not disappoint. On Saturday, we had EF’s party. Taste by Katie catered, and did an absolutely amazing job. Katie worked with us to get the menu just right, and then executed it beyond my high expectations. I couldn’t recommend Taste by Katie more. The fried chicken was spicy and moist. The sweet potato biscuits were delicious. The okra and sausage tarts were the first to run out. The Sally Lunn bread parfaits went over great. EF enjoyed a little of everything, but loved the slaw and mac and cheese. Check out my yelp review of Taste by Katie. Thanks again to our incredibly generous friends. EF loves her new books and toys. Thanks again to FJ and LeBeef for hosting. Thanks to Chelsea for making the cake. Thanks to HB for planning everything!