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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!

TICO

http://www.ticodc.com

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 DIPLOMATE

http://lediplomatedc.com/

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!

Mango, Apple and Raspberry Burst Smoothie

21 Oct

Power up your breakfast kids! It is after all the most important meal of the day.  After a Sunday stop at my neighborhood Trader Joe’s, I made this scrumptious smoothie for breakfast on Monday.  Each element of this mix is super good for you; I basically overdosed on Vitamin C , calcium and magnesium.  It was ideal for a Monday morning, when, let’s face it, most of us are feeling subpar. Bonus: TJ’s is known for their cheap produce and the smoothie was so filling I barely needed lunch.

You’ll need:

  • Trader Joe’s 100% mango juice (if mangoes aren’t your thing, substitute orange juice)
  • Yogurt (I went with raspberry for a flavor compliment, but feel free to use vanilla or something more neutral)
  • One large apple (sliced)
  • Container of raspberries

Blend together for perfection. Throw in ice cubes if you want some chill.  Or what if you threw in your protein powder?!

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Fresh to death.  Enjoy!

Petite Pizzas

9 Sep

Happy Monday eve!  This is going to be a quick one because I’m exhausted.  But before beauty rest comes this post– quick, simple, healthy, and creative.  Have 20 minutes on a weeknight?  Make petite pizzas! You’ll need some basics, and then can have some fun with whatever ingredients you have around.  I used whole wheat English Muffins, some leftover tomato sauce, and Mozzarella and Colby Jack cheese for my basics.  Then made two kinds of petite pizzas because variety is the spice of life, amirite?  One was prosciutto, mozzarella, and sauteed garlic spinach.  The second was a fried runny egg, cherry tomatoes, Colby Jack cheese, and chives.  DELISH.

Things you need to cook before the oven toaster: tomatoes, spinach, and egg

Cherry tomatoes

Assembly line!

Assembly line

NOM!

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I’m not usually a fan of the runny egg, but oy was it just the right amount of gooey to soak up into the muffin.  Pair with some white wine, a candle, and Monday Night Football, and you have yourself a treat.

Birthday Month Round 1: Pancake Birthday Cake!

20 Aug

So as I mentioned in a previous post, my roomie bestie turned the big 2-6 on Sunday! To cheer her out of the “road to late twenties” blues, we had a marvelous idea… make her a PANCAKE CAKE! What better thing to wake up to for a Sunday birthday brunch? I’ll tell you what: nothing.  It only calls for a handful of simple ingredients, but is definitely a labor of love.  I initially found a fancy recipe that called for making the pancake batter AND the roasted-pecan buttercream frosting, and while I love my friend more than anything, I knew by the time I got my butt out of bed on Sunday and made everything, we would be eating at 4pm.  Not fun (especially for her, silly morning bird). SO I resorted to the ever-delicious classic Bisquick mix, an enormous stockpile of fresh blueberries, and delightful vanilla cream icing.  I knew I wanted a big tower of ’em, so I definitely used up all of the batter to make a whopping 10 pancakes!

Use a non-stick skillet and carefully make each pancake, trying to ensure that the batter meets the edges of the pan so they’re all roughly the same size.  Then scatter in a few blueberries and press into the batter.  Cook on LOW heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, checking periodically for doneness.  Make sure when you press down, no batter oozes out from the middle.

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Check out the stack! If you’re making anything else to accompany the pancake monstrosity, let the stack sit in the oven on a low 170 or 180 degrees to keep relatively warm until you’re ready to frost.

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We used a full can of frosting and put a thin layer between each pancake and then around the entire thing.  Pro tip: Stick a few of those super long, skinny wooden skewers in the middle of the cake all the way down so the layers don’t move around while you’re trying to frost the whole way around.  We circled the cake with some fresh strawberries for the final product!

photo 1

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Don’t be afraid of any oozing frosty.  That’s the good stuff.  Make your own pancake cake rendition and eat up!!

Ode to the Killer Egg Sandwich

4 Sep

Photo (16)

 

Apologies for the blog hiatus, but happy post-Labor day everyone! I hope you all were able to enjoy an awesome long weekend.  I for one had the privilege of attending Budweiser’s Made in America Festival in Philadelphia, during which Beyonce and several others officially rocked my world.  Upon returning to the District, my next point of focus was what I could eat- something both delicious and nutritious to refuel the bod.  My immediate decision: the Killer Egg Sandwich.  This has been an evolving creation over the past few years, and is such a nommy staple that my roommate decided there had to be a “Killer” in the title.  Perfect for any time of day, all you need is an egg, bread/english muffin, and whatever else you wanna nosh on.  The following haiku duo (yes, instructional poetry) outlines the ensemble of my favorite version of the Killer Egg (pictured):

Need English muffin,

Salsa adds a spicy twist.

Fry that egg with cheese!

 

Time to compile,

Avocado is your friend.

Get in my belly!

 

Additional tip: Spread your favorite flavor of Laughing Cow cheese (approx $3 for the wheel) on the inside of both English muffin slices for an added flavor layer.  My go-to is Garlic & Herb- a zesty surprise.

GO MAKE THIS RIGHT NOW.

thewinelifestyle

So close to wine

culinarychronicles.wordpress.com/

Discovering new Foodventures with each bite

A Stairway To Fashion

contact: ralucastoica23@gmail.com

Madison Sheffer

a creative communicator

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