February Favorites – 2016

So I know that February is only about halfway over, but since one of my favorites of the month ends on February 20th, I thought I’d share this month’s favorites a bit early so you  wouldn’t miss out. I know. I know. I am so thoughtful. Although not so thoughtful that I’m going to share this not-to-be-missed favorite right now. You’ll have to read this entire post for that. I know.  I know. I never said that I wasn’t also self-serving, (only when necessary, of course). But balance is the key to life, right? So there you go.

Disclaimer: If you don’t live in the D.C. area, you probably won’t care too much about this particular favorite. And if you’ve seen my recent photo on Facebook and Instagram, then this favorite probably won’t be much of a surprise. But you should still read this entire post! Why? Because I’d like to think that it’s informative all while being a bit witty. And, um, writing these posts take me a bit of time, so if anything, it’s the respectful and considerate thing to do (I also never said that I wasn’t manipulative).



*Our Favorite Restaurant of the Month is…Masseria: One of the best meals we’ve recently had in D.C. was at Masseria, located in the Union Market district. The space is gorgeous, the food and wine sublime, and the service is excellent. They offer various multi-course tasting menus with numerous options. This restaurant is pure gold. FotorCreated2.jpgFotorCreated



*DC Harvest Restaurant on D.C.’s H Street: Casual + quaint + all-organic kitchen = win win win.

*Chaplin’s Restaurant in D.C.’s Shaw Neighborhood: It seems like all the cool kids are hanging out in Shaw, and with good reason. This Japanese/Ramen-focused restaurant is hip, lively, and delicious.

*Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA: About a fifteen minute drive from my hometown lies this vegan haven. When I say that this is one of the best bakeries I’ve ever visited, I am not exaggerating. AND I just found out (like, at this very moment, actually) that they deliver to several D.C. area restaurants and cafes, including Busboys and Poets. Woohooooo!

There’s a whole lot of vegan deliciousness in this boxIMG_3645


A Cookbook/Blog that I’m Loving: But I Could Never Go Vegan by Kristy Turner

I’ll admit it: I’m a wannabe vegan. We dine out frequently and I am obsessed with both sushi and cheese, so I’d say it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be giving up fish and/or dairy anytime soon. However, at home, I pretty much only cook vegan.  The cookbook But I Could Never Go Vegan (so aptly named in my case) is fantastic and the majority of the recipes I’ve made so far have been absolutely delicious. Her blog features many additional recipes that are not included in her cookbook, and she seems totally down-to-earth and funny as hell. Kind of reminds me of another blogger I know. I feel like Kristy and I would make great friends.

Some standouts so far:

*Parmesan-Crusted Avocado & Kale Florentine with Smoked Paprika Hollandaise: One of the best recipes I’ve made recently. Seriously. T said that this dish was restaurant-quality and I couldn’t agree more.

*Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Delicious and super easy

*Lentil, Chard & Sweet Potato Curry:  Satisfying comfort food

*Beluga Lentil & Farro Kale Salad:  This gem includes four of my favorite ingredients.  I omitted the avocado and mango because I didn’t have either on hand




For better or for worse, I am a list person. No, not as in making things-to-do or grocery lists. More like completing List Challenges lists. You know the ones: travel, restaurants, books, etc. I love them, get completely consumed by them, and obsessively check each item off as quickly as I possibly can. I won’t even go into my obsession with Patricia Schultz’s 1,000 Places to See Before You Die book. Completely. Obsessed.

So, when I came across PopSugar’s 2016 Ultimate Reading Challenge, I just couldn’t resist. I am a voracious reader but I tend to be drawn to the same two genres: realistic and historical fiction. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading books that are within your comfort zone, but this list inspired me to branch out a bit, and (so far) I’m certainly glad I did. So far this month I’ve embarked on two wonderful books, and they couldn’t have been more different from one another.

*Sharp Objects: Murder mystery  (Author: Gillian Flynn…yep, you know who she is…and she’s just as F’d up in this book as she was in Gone Girl and Dark Places)

*Between the World and Me: National Book Award winner (Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates…a little more than halfway through this outstanding book)

Our dog, Jackson: on the top of all of my favorites listsFullSizeRender (2)



And finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for (or not): the incredible opera Lost in the Stars at the Kennedy Center. The good news is that it closes on February 20th, so you still have time. The bad news is that it closes on February 20th, so you need to hustle and get your tickets, like NOW. This production beautifully depicts race, heartbreak, acceptance, and forgiveness. We have been fortunate to see the renowned bass-baritone Eric Owens twice, last year in the Flying Dutchman and now again in Lost in the Stars. If you can’t make it to the Kennedy Center for this performance, do try to see him at least once in your lifetime. He is phenomenal. What? You don’t think you like opera? It seems boring? Too fancy? Too intimidating? Well, you’re in luck with this show. This show is a great introductory opera as it’s more like a play-meets-opera than a traditional opera, and wait for it…it’s in ENGLISH, too! What more could you ask for? Except for maybe more than one week left to see it, I suppose.


Yep, that’s Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg behind us. See?  Brilliant and inspiring people love the opera! You can be one of those people, too!IMG_3724



People Who Love to Eat Are Always the Best People (I adore you, Julia Child!):

Masseria Restaurant

DC Harvest Restaurant

Chaplin’s Restaurant

Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA

Busboys and Poets Restaurant

But I Could Never Go Vegan Blog


We Lose Ourselves in Books, We Find Ourselves There, Too:

PopSugar’s 2016 Reading Challenge


Blow a Kiss, Take a Bow:

Lost in the Stars at the Kennedy Center



One thought on “February Favorites – 2016

  1. elisabethleighkraemer

    Awesome post! Love that this comes right to my email now. 🙂

    Glad you included the link to the vegan blog…I’m going to have to try some of these recipes!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: