Exciting News! My New Food Blog has Launched!

18 Oct

Hello old friends!

Forgive my silence for the past few years… working full time and going to grad school has not been kind to my free time ūüôā

But, I sorely miss sharing all the things I cook, eat, and salivate over… and therefore, my sister Madison and I have decided to launch our very own joint food blog: The Dinna Ladies! ¬†That means I am officially sunsetting the Nomming on a Budget blog… so you won’t see any more posts here.

Please take a moment to visit the site.  You can subscribe to receive new posts automaticallyРjust enter your email on the right-hand side. We just launched this very morning, and will be posting roughly twice per week to make sure we have lots of content for you to peruse!

Want more? Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@thedinnaladies) and email us at anytime @ thedinnaladies@gmail.com.



Salmon Toast & Tomatoes with Mozzarella

30 Mar

This is going to be short and sweet. ¬†Between a new role in my organization, loads of upcoming travel and grad school applications, you can expect the blog hiatus to continue a wee bit longer. ¬†Here’s a lil’ something to satiate you!

As you may know, salmon is a fave on this blog. ¬†One night when I was crammed for time, I made this super fast, healthy and cheap dinner dish! You’ll need a package of lox, goat cheese, whole wheat toast, capers (optional), a few juicy green tomatoes, mozzarella balls and balsamic vinegar. ¬†I got all of these ingredients at Trader Joe’s, who has a small pack of smoked salmon for like $5- total steal!¬†Salmon Toast Salmon Toast


Add these items to the grocery store list for this week and enjoy!

Snowday Steak Marinade & Baked Sriracha Cauliflower

18 Feb

Hello again! Apologies for the recent winter hiatus, and for all you fellow DC residents- Happy Snow Day! On days like these I get to work from home, which simultaneously enables me to spend my lunch ¬†break in my own kitchen. ¬†A perfect use of this lucky situation of mine is a marinade… I can mix it up in the morning, let it sit all day, and it will ¬†be ready by the work day’s end! ¬†I’ve come across many a steak marinade recipe on different food blogs and in various food magazines and cookbooks. ¬†I decided to whip up one of my own, hopefully following my self-declared “culinary instincts”. ¬† I chose an oil base, the typical salt and pepper (but more delicious versions), herbs, and some spice. ¬†Below are Trader Joe’s lemon pepper, rosemary, black truffle sea salt, thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes. ¬†Not pictured is garlic, which is a definite must. Mix together in a bowl of olive oil to taste. ¬† Self-made steak marinade Put your steak tips (or any red meat/chicken) in a plastic bag. ¬†Dump in the marinade, thoroughly massage with the steak, and seal. ¬†Put in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Self made steak marinade self-made steak marinade Toss in a pan with some butter to sear both sides. After searing each side for roughly 2 minutes, finish in the oven (set to 350) for 10 minutes or until cooked to desired temperature. self-made steak marinade And now, what to pair it with?! I suggest¬†one of my bestie’s go-to recipes- baked sriracha cauliflower! Break up cauliflower florets and place in baking pan. ¬†Add a can of chickpeas, drained. ¬†Combine¬†sriracha, olive oil and white wine vinegar in a bowl. ¬†Drizzle the sriracha mixture into pan and thoroughly coat the cauliflower and chickpeas. ¬†When asked for specifications, my lovely friend stated verbatim “Umm I eyeball it. Most olive oil. Splash of vinegar.¬†Hot to taste.¬†(I like it hot hot hot).¬†Bake 400 degrees for 40 minutes tossing once.” ¬†Welp, there ya go! Sriracha Cauliflower Apologies for not having a finished picture of the meal, but just imagine how yummy it is ūüôā

Nommin’ Out: Belga Cafe

23 Jan

Located just one block from the Eastern Market metro on 8th and E st SE, this little European restaurant is a solid, low-key selection for your Sunday brunch plans. ¬†First of all, it should be noted that there are NINE different types of waffles you can order. ¬†Yes, nine, ranging from sweet to savory and everything in between. ¬†Alas, I’m not really a “breakfast food” person once it hits the early afternoon brunch hour. ¬†My eye goes immediately to the sandwich section, in which I found this delectable Lamb Burger. ¬†A grilled spicy lamb & chorizo burger, goat cheese,¬†pickle, radish, garlic sauce, on a multi-grain bun is $16, and you can add both fries and a side salad for another $6.

Belga Cafe- Lamb Burger

This is definitely not a brunch spot you select for a bottomless drink option or one to heavily imbibe for cheap.  They do have several wonderful variations of mimosas, including grapefruit and orange, for $9 each.

I’ll be back in the very near future to gorge on one of their eight variations of mussel pots.

Check it out!

Homemade Puff Pastry-Crust Pizza with Pancetta, Ricotta & Honey Dijon Onions

9 Jan

Welcome to the Polar Vortex 2k15! I don’t know where you’re all located, but if you’re in DC, then you are FREEZING. ¬†The cold has been so aggressive this week that my immune system finally succumbed to some sort of cold virus, and the water pipes in our house have frozen. ¬†With temperatures expected to be sub-freezing going into the weekend, you best bundle up! ¬†There is always, however, a silver lining to these situations. ¬†You could stay indoors, cuddle up with a terrific meal and a glass or three of wine, and rewatch the last season of Game of Thrones in preparation for its mighty return in a few months’ time (#PUMPED). ¬†In any event, I have an idea for this delectable meal of yours! ¬†How about a homemade, treat yo’self kind of pizza?! This one has a crust of golden, flaky puff pastry¬†dough, piled with ricotta cheese, my specialty onions, and pancetta (bacon’s cousin- yes please). ¬†The puffy pastry dough is the most expensive item on the list ($10 at whole foods), and if you’re solo, you’ll have leftovers for days! You’ll need:

  • One box of puff¬†pastry dough (one sheet, thawed)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Fresh basil
  • Small container of fresh ricotta cheese
  • One package pancetta
  • 1-2 vidalia or sweet onions, depending on how excited you are to make them
  • Honey and¬†Dijon mustard (equal parts, 3 tablespoons each per onion)
  • Butter

If you get the box of puff pastry¬†dough¬†the day before, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. ¬†Otherwise, let it sit on the kitchen counter for 3-4 hours to thaw. ¬†To accelerate thawing if it’s still not ready, CAREFULLY unfold the dough so it is a flat sheet, still in the plastic wrap, and wrap with kitchen towels. ¬†I would not recommend thawing via microwave. ¬†While the dough is on the tail-end of thawing, get your toppings ready! Chop up some fresh basil to put on the pizza, and set aside Basil Heat some butter in a frying pan and cook the pancetta. ¬†Keep it on medium-high heat and make sure to pay attention, as each side of the pancetta takes only about a minute to cook. ¬†Remove from pan and set aside. ¬†Next, mix together your honey and dijon mustard in a bowl. ¬†There should be equal parts honey:mustard, but feel free to taste and add to your liking. ¬†Slice the onion(s) to about 1/4 inch thick, and place in a bigger ¬†bowl. ¬†Toss the onions in the honey mustard mix and let sit for a few minutes. ¬†Heat up a pan on medium heat, throw in some butter, and add the onions and the leftover mix. ¬†Cover and let cook down for about 15-20 minutes, or until onions are soft. ¬†Make sure to stir occasionally so the mixture doesn’t burn or stick to the pan. ¬†The smell of these bad boys will undoubtedly get your mouth watering. ¬†Once finished, set aside along with the pancetta and basil. Pancetta w/ Honey Dijon onions Once the puff pastry dough is thawed, place on a baking sheet. ¬†An important note, and thankfully one that I called my all-knowing mom about, is to bake the dough about halfway through before you put any toppings or sauce on it. ¬†This ensures the dough cooks evenly and¬†is stable enough to hold ingredients. ¬†Following the baking directions on the box, set the oven to the appropriate temperature, and bake for half the time. ¬†Remove from the oven, and spread on sauce. ¬†Add pancetta, onions, basil, and dollups of ricotta cheese evenly on the pizza, layering the ingredients as necessary. ¬†Bake in the oven for the remaining amount of time. ¬†Make sure to check the pizza intermittently so the crust does not burn. ¬†If it starts to darken, remove from the oven and cover those areas with aluminum foil so you can continue baking. ¬†Once dough is cooked and cheese is molten, remove from the oven and serve!! Homemade pizza! Flaky Crust Pizza This works for 2-4 people. ¬†If you’re a duo, which I was with a favorite dining companion, then I suggest you be HUNGRY. ¬†Enjoy!

Nommin’ Out on 14th St for New Year’s Brunch: Tico and Le Diplomate

30 Dec

It’s almost New Years!!!!!!!!! Wooo. I for one¬†usually feel that New Years Eve is slightly overrated in general. ¬†What I’m definitely looking forward to, and what is most certainly not overrated, is a gluttonous, hangover-curing New Year’s Day Brunch! Lucky for you, me, and a great friend who turns a year older,¬†there are a plethora of delicious options ¬†in DC¬†that will definitely deliver. ¬†Let’s focus on 14th st NW. ¬†I have dined previously at both of the below establishments in need of some greasy lovin’, and left feeling a big MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. ¬†One of them is even having a New Years Day Brunch special!



This relatively new restaurant, right by the also relatively new Trader Joe’s, is already a proven hit- it was just listed on the Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants of 2014. ¬†But this isn’t really a surprise coming from owner¬†Michael Schlow, a Top Chef Master and James Beard Foundation award recipient. ¬†This restaurant serves American food with Spanish, Mexican, and South American flavors within the funkily-decorated walls displaying artwork by¬†Schlow’s wife.

According to¬†BadWolf DC’s blog, “On New Year’s Day, Tico will offer a “Stay In Your Pajamas Disco Brunch” with bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s. The restaurant will offer hangover cures from their popular brunch menu like Duck Confit and Green Chile Hash, Kitchen Sink Breakfast Burritos, Stuffed French Toast, Spicy Mexican Fried Chicken, and more. ¬†The special brunch will be $37.50 per person and will include all you can eat from the Pajama Disco brunch menu, bottomless mimosas and bloody Mary’s, and a special throwback disco soundtrack. Reservations can be made at http://www.ticodc.com/#!reserve/cfwu.” ¬†Click on the blog link for the full menu! ¬†Here’s some menu items that I’ve enjoyed:

Bacon Cheeseburger with fried egg and special sauce

Tico Burger

Tico Mac n Cheese with Serrano Ham

Tico Mac n Cheese

Cinnamon Raisin STUFFED French Toast (it’s stuffed with some sort of delectable cream cheese filling)

Tico Stuffed French Toast

& last but definitely not least, the Hibiscus Margarita, which is one of the best margs this girl has ever enjoyed

Tico Margarita



Le Diplo is having a pre-fixed NYE dinner she-bang which I’m sure will be elegant and classy, but they are also having their usual nom-worthy brunch the following day. ¬†I went there for my birthday brunch back in August, dead set on demolishing one of the best burgers in DC according to the Washingtonian staff. ¬†It is comprised of two thin patties, pickles, onions, and special sauce for an affordable price. Think about it as a super upscale Big Mac. ¬†If that’s what you’ll be hangry for on New Year’s Day, you won’t be disappointed. ¬†After all, this restaurant was also on the Washingtonian’s list of 100 Best Restaurants of 2014.

Le Diplomate Burger Le Diplomate Burger

Happy almost New Years!

Easy Shrimp Salad

17 Dec

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to head home for the holidays this weekend. ¬†Family, friends, and FEASTS await! I’m getting antsy just thinking about it. ¬†Alas, there are still two days standing in my way, and I think I might as well get some nutrition in now. ¬†This shrimp salad is cheap, easy and deliciously satisfying.

You’ll need a tomato, 1 ball of mozzarella, spinach, avocado, lemon, olive oil, and 1 package peeled frozen shrimp. ¬†Simply cook the shrimp in a pan on the stove top, chop up the tomato, mozzarella, and avocado, and toss on a bed of spinach. ¬†For a super light dressing, drizzle on olive oil and squeeze half a lemon’s worth of juice. ¬†Add on any other salad components you like!

Easy Shrimp Salad with Lemon

Easy Shrimp Salad

Easy Shrimp Salad

You’ll feel good, look good, and temporarily stave off the inevitable Christmas vacation pounds. ¬†Enjoy!


So close to wine


By Amy Purfield-Clark


Discovering new Foodventures with each bite

Madison Sheffer

a creative communicator

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