A Heart Walk

heart beat medicalA couple of years ago a dear friend and cousin found out she was born with a congenital heart defect known as bicuspid aortic valve disease (BAVD). This meant she would have to undergo heart surgery. Being a scientist, she decided to document everything about her condition and the surgery in a blog, Defective Heart Girl Problems, which Boing Boing picked up when her post about the actual surgery — with pictures — started to make its rounds.

Summer is fully recovered and joining the American Heart Association Heart Walk/Run for the second time this year. And this time I’m joining her!

We’re hitting the streets of New York City on June 18 to help raise money and awareness for AHA as they work to reduce death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20% by 2020. If you would like to help support us, please consider a small donation to our team

The Science of Bacon

My love for bacon is a favorite running joke among many of my friends, and sometimes it results in us stumbling upon some entertaining bacon facts. These two finds come from my astrophysicist cousin, Summer_Ash.

First up, a little science behind why bacon smells so good, from Compound Interest.

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Second, the science of cooking the perfect strip of bacon with minimum shrinkage. Because there are few things as sad as a shriveled up piece of overcooked bacon. The science may not be the most sound, but my own experience has found the most success with the method of cooking the bacon slowly in the oven. And I agree that washing it in water doesn’t really accomplish much but put more time between me and deliciously cooked bacon.

And now you can wrap up your Monday a little bit smarter! Thanks, science!

Dining Out for Life Returns on April 24

unnamedWhat’s better than an afternoon or evening out at one of your favorite restaurants? Knowing that your money is supporting a good cause. On Thursday, April 24th, more than 100 area restaurants have pledged to contribute 25% to 100% of that day’s proceeds to benefit Food & Friends’ clients living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout the National Capital Region. Continue reading

Brunch at Bistro Cacao

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On a recent rainy weekend I found myself on the northeast side of Capitol Hill with a friend, and we were in need of a comfortable place to sit and catch up on lots of business and life updates. With the exception of H Street, the choices around the northeast side of the Hill are a bit slim. But there is one place that deserves some more attention, especially for brunch – Bistro Cacao. Continue reading

Should you eat that bacon?

Remember reading the the extra long section of comics in the newspaper ever Sunday morning as a kid? Consider this an extension of that, but bacon-themed.
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Wine, Cheese and Bacon Jam at Sona Creamery

imgresTwo of my favorite things are wine and cheese, especially paired together. So I was quite excited to hear about the opening of Sona Creamery on Capitol Hill at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Little did I know that the wine and cheese were only the start to what my neighborhood’s newest restaurant has to offer.

I noticed their menu posted on the window shortly before officially opening and found my mouth watering as I read the descriptions of some of their small-plate offerings. The dishes featured dates, sweet potatoes, duck, grilled sirloin and more.

On our visit we started with the duck prosciutto salad, the steak and cheese éclairs. The éclairs were stuffed with pimento cheese and topped with a thin slice of steak– very interesting and tasty. The big standout for us was the Sona Fries, which were extra crispy and covered in a house-made mumbo sauce with aioli and house-made cheese curds. Continue reading

Heaven in Dessert Form: Girl Scout Cookie Brownies

unnamedMy weakness for Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies is almost parallel to my weakness for cinnamon rolls. And when the season hits, there are countless co-workers pushing the sweet irresistible cookie at my office. It’s for the kids, right? So of course I end up with several more boxes than I actually need. This time around, I decided to share the wealth in the form of baking. The result may be my favorite brownie recipe yet.

1 box Dark Chocolate Ghirardelli Brownie Mix + 1 sleeve of crushed up Thin Mint Cookies = Heaven. Continue reading

Brunch at Tel’veh

Tel_vehBottomless brunches are one of my favorite trends in the city right now. But, I recently ran into a snag with one of my favorites, which will remain unnamed. I will just say that it is part of a restaurant group so this policy is likely in effect at several of our favorite DC brunch locations.

A large group of us were running a race together and wanted to go to brunch after. We wanted a fun atmosphere and a set price so we didn’t need to worry about splitting the check in different ways. I called one of my favorite places and was told that I had to coordinate with the events group since our group was more than eight people. That was fine with me until they asked that I put down a 50% deposit. Then they doubled the price because we wanted to come a half hour later than they wanted us (11am instead of 10:30). I understand the need to turn over tables, but to double the price? And I have never seen this particular restaurant filled for brunch.

Enough about where we didn’t go. Where we ended up – Tel’veh – could not have been more perfect. They had no qualms about letting me make a reservation for 12-15 people, immediately brought our table of hungry and cold runners bread and water, and kept out plates and glasses full while we enjoyed the music, great views and fun company. Continue reading

DIY Fun: Lamp Making

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If I had cable I would be completely addicted to home improvement shows. And I would probably be broke trying out everything on my own at home. In the absence of cable, I have found a love for flipping through craft books and bookmarking things for rainy days when I am feeling the need to pull out the hot glue gun and get creative.

With two weeks off around Christmas and New Years, I finally found some of that down time and chose a project that has been on my list for far too long -lamps for the sideboard in my dining room. The chandelier gives decent light but this is an interior room that can sometimes feel too dark. After feeling uninspired by options in stores, I came up with an idea. I had a really cool bourbon bottle that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away because I liked the look of it so much. And it just so happened to be the perfect shape for the base of a lamp! Continue reading

Kitchen Experiments: Super Bowl Chili

The recent cold weather has put me in a mood for warm dishes, such as soups and stews. So for the Super Bowl, I decided to break out my favorite chili recipe. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser and, since it’s pretty much just vegetables, it’s a healthy choice too.

This recipe makes a massive batch, but it freezes really well so don’t worry about cooking too much.
Continue reading