Friday, April 30, 2010

May Day! And Farmers Market Season Begins Tomorrow!

To me, there is no better May Day gift than this: the 14th and U Farmers Market opens back up tomorrow!  Hooray!   This good news has (nearly) wiped my memory of the clusterf*ck that was Metro's green line this morning. 

Support your local and regional farmers, y'all! 


And on the topic of May Day, I remember when I was little making up May Day baskets of gifts/flowers and then stealthily dropping them on neighbors' porches, ringing the door bell and running away.  Never once got caught. Not sure my current neighbors would appreciate that, though. 

Happy May Day (early) and Farmers Market Season!

TGIFF Musical Selection

In an effort to kick my bad attitude (WTF METRO), I am imagining that I'm enjoying DC's beautiful weather today (instead of at my desk all day).  And if I were outside enjoying the weather, I would challenge you to a game of horseshoes.

Arrested Development - Tennessee from Dundy on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Salad Greens Bring all the Boys to the Yard

I was a little late to work today (if 8:30AM is late).  Instead of my usual, drag-my-butt-outta-bed, shower, hurriedly throw on some work clothes, pour my coffee-to-go, and run out the door, I took an extra 10 minutes to do something special.  I walked outside, picked myself a bowl of home-grown salad greens, washed them, and whisked together a French vinaigrette. 


Et voila!  A lunch I could be truly proud of.   I walked a little taller to the metro, quite proud of myself really.  And hot damn that salad was delicious!

Basic French Vinaigrette
4 T light olive oil & 2 T canola oil
1T balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
salt/pepper to taste

Directions: Whisk it. Whisk it good.  Whi-whisk it REAL good!  (Yeah, I did just do that. S-Salt n Pepa's here!)

This will make enough for approximately 8 cups of greens, and will keep for up to a week - covered and refrigerated, of course. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Garden Status Update

Check these puppies out!

Oh, and what's that? I think I see a burst of color ...

And look at THEM GREENS!


Expect to see some bitchin salad dressing recipes up on this blog soon.  It is my goal to become a salad dressing connoisseur - what with my salad greens looking so fine.  I can't just use a store-bought salad dressing. No, no. Not for my greens.

I'm so proud.  These plants are like my kids.  But I eat them. So I guess that analogy doesn't follow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

TGIFF Musical Selection

TGIFF, y'all.  At the genius request of my friend Pat, I wanted to post this video for today's Friday Musical Selections:  Unfortunately, they disabled the embed code, so I'm not able to embed the video.  But I highly suggest you click through to check it out - The Very Best, "Warm Heart of Africa" - great song, amazing video. You won't regret it. 

But I wanted to include an actual embedded video this Friday, so today's blog post is a twofer! (Twofer: when you get two things for the effort, price, time, or space of one. Ex- "Hey, I can use this room as an entertainment room and a guest room--it's a twofer!")

From Zion I - Geek to the Beat.  I freaking love this track and the video is pretty awesome (think modern day Alice in Wonderland).

Zion I "Geek To The Beat" from Okayplayer on Vimeo.

Happy Friday! And Happy Belated Earth Day! 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bakin Birthday Bundts.

Bundt cake alliteration, and yes - a post about baking a bundt cake.  But this is not just any cake.  This is a BIRTHDAY cake for my very good friend who deserves a billion bundt cakes.  I just made one though. A very special one, though, as it its two defining ingredients are two of my favorite things: chocolate and red wine.

"Red wine? In a cake??" you ask.

Yes.  Red wine in a cake.  I love cooking with booze.  And as it turns out, this cake got rave reviews from the birthday crew and most importantly, the birthday girl herself.   So, here is the recipe, and the photographic evidence of its deliciousness.

Chocolate Red Wine Bundt Cake (from

2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. dry red wine
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a bundt pan (I used a silicon mold, and it worked beautifully).  In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter w/ the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated.  Add vanilla and beat for 2 min longer.  Working in two batches, alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the pan, and bake 45 minutes.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to let cool completely.  Dust the cake with powdered sugar and serve with lots of wine or some ice cream or some whipped cream.  But definitely serve with wine.


Birthday girl with birthday bundt, and yes thats a bottle of Andre in the middle.

All told, the cake was moist, rich and delicious.  It was not-too-sweet and slightly boozy, just like me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

TGIFF Musical Selection

Starting today, I'm instituting a weekly "TGIFF Musical Selection" blog post, for my own personal enjoyment.

Today's selection is an inspired one. Though I can't completely relate to the subject matter of the song, as a resident of the District of Columbia, I can relate to walking around at night, looking over your shoulder, paranoid that someone could jump you at any given moment.  In this song, a dude sees a group of thugs coming towards him, so he has his weapon at the ready.  But he soon finds out that it was just "three black crippled & crazy senior citizens". LOL.  Here's the Geto Boys - My Mind Playing Tricks on Me:

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garden Wisdom

"Weather means more when you have a garden.  There's nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans."  -- Marcelene Cox

Now, I don't know who Marcelene Cox is.  Google will tell me in a minute.  But I DO know that she and I are on the same page:

"A bonus of gardening: rainy days no longer get you down.  You'll be all like like, 'Yeah, thats right, Rain! You water my plants and make em grow real big! Thats what I'm talkin about!' Or maybe thats just me." -- Me said here

But its not just me.  Its me and Marcelene.  

* UPDATE: I like Marcelene - she's a sassy lady!

** UPDATE to the UPDATE: I'm hesitant to say it, but it appears as if the Internets have let me down (!!).  All I can find on Marcelene Cox is quotes, quotes and more quotes.  Digging further, it looks like she wrote for Ladies Home Journal (awesome) in the 1940's and 50's, and that she was born in 1900.  Not one write up on her life or death. Just quotes.  I guess the details of her life are lost in the pre-Google abyss.  Disappointing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Upcoming Show & DC Native

I'm undecided on the video, but I really like Daniel Merriweather's recently released album.  And this track that features DC's own Wale is easy on the ears.  Apparently others agree with me, as Merriweather's playing a sold out show at 930 club (Corrine Baily Rae is headlining) in May.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Adventures in Homeownership: Gardening

Homeownership is at once empowering and scary as hell.  Scary: when your upstairs shower leaves bodies of water on the first floor, you gotta figure it out. And when cute little mice decide to take up residence in your space, you gotta be the bad guy.  Empowering: you can redecorate and remodel to your heart's content (or to your bank account's allowance).  And, if you're lucky in DC, you get some outdoor space to work with.  We are doubly lucky, as we have a small front yard, and we have a carport and an (overgrown) alley in back to work with.
As this is our first spring season in the house, we were eager to do some planting.  So we did a little research, bought all the supplies we needed (depending on what your plans are, this can add up to a sizable investment), and got to work.

Goal: Plant flowers in the front yard and cultivate a raised bed vegetable and flower garden in back. 

Supplies: Vegetable seeds, flower seeds, germinating soil, used egg carton to sprout seeds, wood to build raised bed garden structure, tomato cages, topsoil to fill raised bed gardens.

I seeded the green beans, heirloom tomatoes, yellow gooseberry tomatoes, chocolate bell peppers, lavender, dahlias, and cilantro indoors.  It was mildly successful.  Here's what I did:

Using a plastic egg container, I poked holes in the bottom of each egg compartment with a pin to allow for drainage, and put a tray underneath to catch all the water when it drained through. I filled each egg compartment 2/3rds full with germinating soil that I had moistened (til its sponge-y but not dripping with water).  Depending on the directions on each seed packet, I pressed the seeds into the soil, lightly covered with more moist soil and gently tamped the soil down.  I kept the egg carton of seeds in a place where it would get lots of sun (indoors), watered whenever I saw the soil was drying, and kept the egg carton lid closed to keep the warmth trapped in the egg compartments. 

All my seeds sprouted a week later (except the bell peppers)

Side story: My friend Sean, who's also seeding his vegetables, and I were out at happy hour with friends: "Sean! My bell peppers haven't effing sprouted yet! WTF?"  "I know right!? Mine haven't either!!" 

Mine have since sprouted, so its all good.  

So, I planted these seeds back in March, and they just grew and grew until I decided the roots had grown enough & the weather was warm enough for me to transplant them.  Its April now.

Raised bed garden, beautifully built by the husband 
and filled with some nice vegetable garden soil.  Got the tomato cages 
which will also serve as green bean cages.

Post planting.  In the back row are tomatoes, green beans and then more tomatoes. In the front row is a strawberry plant (bought from a garden store), and I direct seeded some salad greens.

It was at this transplant point when I possibly effed up.  Not sure yet, but after transplanting my green beans - which once stood tall and beautiful - they are now kind of sad looking.

But my salad greens have sprouted!

And behind our carport, I used another raised bed garden (shoddily constructed by me) and I direct seeded some flowers.  I decided to keep the vegetables in the carport, because I didn't want the rats to be sampling my goods.  We'll see if they try to eat my flowers. 

This area was pretty heavily weeded, so it took some serious hoe action to clear it and till the soil.  A bonus of gardening: rainy days no longer get you down.  You'll be all like like, "Yeah, thats right, Rain! You water my plants and make em grow real big! Thats what I'm talkin about!" Or maybe thats just me. Anyways, I'm feelin good, but we'll see...  Do I have a green thumb? To be continued.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Daydreaming

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.