Room Service at the Westin


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After our exhausting first day in DC we went back to the room with every intention of going back out to peep the scene. One of our Uber drivers told us that DC was THE place to try Ethiopian food and since we love to try new things we put it on our list… but after our 2nd nap after walking all over DC on a 98 Degree day with 100 percent humidity.


The heat exhausts me.

We were a short walk away from a Trader Joes so we stocked up on snacks (booze) to keep in the hotel room.


After coming back into the cool air conditioning we plopped on our huge bed and said what the hell, let’s order room service!

If you have ever ordered room service, its quite nice if you like to pay 3x the price of what things should cost (I’m talking about YOU $15 bagel!). But it was our 6 month wedding anniversary (aww) so why the heck not.

With our $4 bottle of sparkling wine from Trader Joes we toasted a great mini getaway and a great 6 months of marriage while eating room service in front of the hotel tv.


Brent got a burger with a side of calamari. I got a french onion soup and a short rib over parsnip puree.

The french onion soup was the biggest disappointment while my main course was absolutely perfect. I was stuffed halfway through but with no way to reheat leftovers, no way to store said leftovers and paying gouged prices for it, I persevered.

We also bought some chocolate covered almonds for dessert.

It was a nice experience!

(We stayed at the Westin Georgetown)

Nando’s Peri Peri


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And we’re off!

To help Brent look for an apartment and to have one last hurrah before school started, I went with Brent to DC. We booked an early morning Amtrak from NY to DC and planned our weekend.

B and I have both been to DC before but never together so this was an experience.  Our hotel room was ready when we arrived which was fantabulous. Not really knowing the lay of the land meant lots of Ubers. Our first Uber ride from WAS to the hotel was quite memorable as our driver exited her mini-van in her bathrobe, slippers, and rollers to remove the car seat from the back seat- she was super friendly and her car smelled like candy. But having a driver in her pjs was def a first.

After a quick siesta in the hotel room (traveling is exhausting) we needed some Grub. B knew of a place that he visited as a kid and since I had never been before, our first DC experience together was Nando’s Peri Peri.

Nando’s specialty is Chicken. Flame grilled chicken. Flame grilled delicious chicken.

When you walk into Nando’s you are greeted by a host or hostess who escort you to the ordering line. The Brazilian music playing throughout the restaurant is interesting and even catchy.


Once you make your way to the counter you order your meal. They do have other options aside from Chicken but when in Rome… I ordered my size chicken (half), and selected my spice level (mild), then I ordered my two sides (roasted corn and Rice)

You receive a ticket and depending if you are dining here or to go you get a number. We picked a spot and brought our number with us. They serve alcohol so I ordered a sangria (meh).


The chicken was tender and delicious. They offer hot sauces on the side if you want to challenge your palette. I toyed with the medium and realized that level of spicy was out of my league. Gimme sriracha any day!

It is highly recommended you clean your teeth after this meal. I had char in my teeth for a while and i was wishing i had a pocket toothbrush.

We took our time enjoying our chicken at Nando’s and decided to see a movie after. With it being so humid in DC we took a long slow walk to the movie theatre and saw Inside Out which was adorable beyond words.


After the movie we walked around some more and watched some kids feeding the ducks overlooking the Potomac.


It was really starting to sink in that this will be the most difficult trip I have ever taken.

Benoit NYC


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During our countdown to Brent’s departure, we set out for dinner in honor of our 6 month wedding anniversary and restaurant week! I let B take the lead on dinner reservations and he totally outdid himself. We went to the very charming and very old school Benoit in Midtown.

Nothing says romance like French cuisine, though, when I think of French cuisine I am reminded of the episode of Sex and the City where Harry and Charlotte have a romantic night out at a French restaurant. They overindulged and spent the entire evening taking turns in the bathroom.

Thankfully that wasn’t the case for us but I can see how Charlotte and Harry did themselves in. French food is RICH and should be enjoyed in moderation.

We had every intention of being modest by ordering off the pre fixe menu but B thought we were selling ourselves short and suggested we go for the glory and get whatever we wanted.

So we did.

First things first. Bubbles. Not just because of the 6 month anniversary but when we dine out (which has significantly decreased in frequency) we treat ourselves to a sparkling wine or champagne. It goes down easier and we usually have zero negative effects in the AM.


For B’s starter, he went with the pate of foie gras and I went with the escargot. The last time I tried escargot was when B and I took our first vacation together; this time was much more positive and much more delicious. I shared with my mother that I had escargot and she was genuinely curious about what it tasted like. Upon first glance, it looks like green moss. But after a whiff, it’s very garlicky in a beautiful way. Once you scoop it into your mouth it tastes like a stuffed mushroom- so if you like stuffed mushrooms, there is a good chance you will like escargot.20150731_184122

There are two main dishes that I can never say no to: Beouf Bourguignon and Cassoulet. Very heavy and hearty dishes. The latter was available so I went in. Brent ordered the roasted chicken which was delicious.

The Cassoulet, which is essentially a white bean stew with sausage and duck confit was rich and totally did me after 5 bites. No matter though. I packed up the leftovers and enjoyed them the following morning with a poached egg- my fave way to enjoy leftovers.


When the dessert menu rolled around I was beyond stuffed but was somehow convinced to order profiteroles. Delightfully airy cream puffs with a rich chocolate sauce for dipping. And washed it down with a creamy cappuccino and some ice cream.20150731_195829

Talk about Indulgence! The great thing about NYC is the ability to WALK after heavy meal and our train was several long blocks away.

Benoit was a great choice. We got to enjoy a wonderful meal and check another great NY restaurant off the list.

Alice’s Tea Cup

Once the countdown to Brent’s departure became a reality, I felt a huge need to milk every single day we spent together doing our favorite things.

We even decided to spend a day together doing what we love: NOTHING. There is an art to doing nothing and I believe we have mastered it.


The art of doing nothing is best spent over unlimited scones and tea sandwiches…at Alice’s Tea Cup!


We initially intended to go to Bosie Tea Parlour where we first fell in love with afternoon tea but they were closed for a private event. Instead of letting that ruin our day, we set out to our second choice. Alice’s Tea Cup.


Sometimes these things happen for a reason. We sat among kids with their parents, ladies lunching, and even some solo diners to relax with some tea and nibble on some sandwiches. PINKIES UP.


Our last visit to Alice’s was shortly after we got married and it was nice to reminisce about all the time we spent with our families and just how nice it was to have all the planning behind us! Oh and marriage is nice, too! ;-)

Later that day we caught a movie and had a nice walk in the city- followed by a pool party in the evening !!!


I got to show of my Whip/Nae Nae skills.

Great day!

Surprise Party!


Where should I start?


I’ll try for the beginning.

Since we last spoke, I had a dismal cronut; I am happy to report that I’ve gotten over the disappointment and moved on to other things to obsess over.

Like my husband moving to DC.

::screeching halt::

OH, RIGHT! My husband is in grad school… in DC. So this summer has been jammed packed with tons of things to do together before he leaves (left). I am currently without a personal computer so I will try to figure out a regular(ish) posting schedule.

I will be sharing all the great things we did together that I was able to document including the food-filled weekend we had in DC.


When B got word as to when he started classes, I started scheming on something for him. He has a great deal of support from his coworkers so I thought I would plan a small get together for his coworkers and some of our family to send him off with lots of love.

First order of business. WHERE? We are newly-weds. Our pockets are NOT rolling deep. So, I considered his favorite pizzeria in our neighborhood that also doubles as a bar/lounge. Then I went to his company picnic in the early summer months and acquired everyone’s Facebook or phone number to send the invite.

Now that I had a venue. I created the invite and set out to order a cake. Since it was a farewell party, I made it one of his favorites. Pizza was a given. But the cake? A huge (and ridiculously inexpensive) Dominican Cake!

If one thing is certain, its that I am TERRIBLE at keeping secrets- especially from my husband. On so many occasions, we would be having a conversation and he would mention someone that just RSVPd to his party and I would instantly feel the urge to mention but I kept the lid sealed TIGHTLY.

The days leading up to it, B kept insisting he should plan a get together before he left and I kept dissuading him. That was so difficult! And on D Day, while we were getting ready for my friend’s birthday party (great cover!) I was receiving so many text messages of guests who were running late!

Surprise parties are NOT for those with anxiety. Just saying.


We made our way to the Pizzeria/Bar and I was nervously agreeing with everything he was saying. I swore he knew what was up.

But when we arrived, everyone was there and I stepped aside as everyone yelled Surprise and B was sincerely shocked- confused even! His reaction was “What?!?” and the evening was filled with pizza but the pie, soda by the gallon and all the shots we could do! Followed by a HUGE Dominican Cake!


It was a huge success! And totally worth it! Anxiety and all!


So I finally had a Cronut…


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cronuts swag

In 2013, the Cronut came to New York City by way of the Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo. The baker, Dominique Ansel crafted a limited supply of donuts daily and the anticipation drew much plublicity. Upon its release, donut enthusiasts waited in line for hours daily just to get their hands on one of the 200 available cronuts.

I admit, I was one who would read article after article of the beautiful donut croissant hybrid and dreamt of having my own; just to say I have tried it.

I have been to reputable bakeries and tried their dough’ssant and their croissant donuts and all were good, but nothing to make me obsessed. The hype for Dominique Ansel’s Cronut was really making me feel like I was missing out.

…until about a year ago when a friend of mine acquired some cronuts thanks to the cronut preorder online. She had one left and she sold it to me for $5. It was a fig cronut. She told me to eat it immediately as they are best when eaten the day they are purchased.

I took photos of the cronut. I posted the pics to Instagram and twitter. Held my breath and sunk my teeth into the cronut.

“Isn’t it AMAZING?”

Well, it’s not terrible but I did not experience the thing that made me want to get up at 4AM to get in line for one of these babies. Not at $5 a pop either. And if it were up to me, can I have a choice on my flavor? Fig, Chocolate, raspberry- plain even. I need variety.

I chalked up the MEH cronut to the fact that it had been purchased way early in the AM and it was now evening- it clearly wasn’t “fresh”…

Fast forward to Sunday.

I was able to acquire my own cronuts thanks to the online preorder system. I had no idea that when I chose to pick up cronuts on July 19th that it would be 94 degrees in New York City and that it would take me an hour to get there. My husband and I (really just me as I dragged him there with me like a good wife) braved the heat for the cronuts. The line was long inside the bakery but since I pre-ordered, I was able to skip the line and grab my cronuts.

I glanced over the register and saw the DKA and the Cannelle de Bordeax. These are two of the regular pastries at Dominique Ansel Bakery that are absolutely delicious- there is NEVER a line for them and they are, without a doubt, way better than the cronut. (highly recommended!)

With my huge bag of cronuts, I slowly walked back to the train station so I could enjoy the bananas foster filled cronut as soon as possible. I was so self conscious of my purchase as the entire world could see my bag contained Cronuts- it was a huge YELLOW Bag. Like, HEY LOOK AT MY BAG!

I purchased some for my family and I plus two more to enjoy if I really liked them. . .


I set up our cronut experience. Coffees on deck. Photos taken. Heart racing with excitement.

I took a bite.

And it was good but not mind-blowingly so.

I believe this item was way over-hyped. The texture of the donut was lacking something.  I was fully convinced by the sugar coating and the crisp-looking layers that the cronut would have a slight crispness/flakiness to it and a soft, delicate center with a glob here and there of custard or whatever the filling of the month was. Instead, I sunk my teeth into a donut that was not light and crisp. It was a bit greasy and lacked the texture that I was seeking; much like my first cronut encounter with the fig filling.

I was disappointed. My husband doesn’t like any kind of donut with filling inside-so that was a bust, My parents both preferred the dough’ssant we got from one of other bakeries we frequented and I felt like I wasted a perfectly good Sunday morning, sweating my butt off for something I didn’t even love.

I am still a big fan of Dominique Ansel. His DKA and cannelle de Bordeaux are enough to keep me coming back over and over again. I will just check cronut off my bucket list.

It’s just not for me.

Sweet Potato Hash with Chicken Sausage and Spinach


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I was inspired by a photo of roasted sweet potatoes on my facebook feed to create dinner for Brent and myself. It was a little off the beaten path since our dinners lately consist of a grilled protein and lots of greens. This was different in every way for us and has instantly become a favorite. It’s easy to make. Healthy. And only soils ONE pan!

This sweet potato hash has everything good in it. Onions. Apples. Sausage. And spinach. Don’t let the apples fool you as they cook with the onions- they take on the delicious flavors that they are surrounded by! I cannot wait to make it again and modify it for lighter days!

Serves 4 or 2 big portions


2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 lb of chicken sausage (Italian style), sliced

1 medium red onion, diced

1 apple (pink lady preferred), cored and chopped

1 5oz package of fresh baby spinach



Olive oil



Steam the diced potatoes for 8-10 minutes to soften. While they are steaming, sauté chicken sausage in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until browned- about 8 minutes over medium heat. Set chicken sausage aside. Add onions and apples and allow to cook in sausage drippings. If anything is stuck to the pan, add a spoonful of water to the pan to help break up the dried up bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow the onions and apples to caramelize. Add salt and cook on medium to low heat for 10 minutes or until onions are caramelized.


Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and add sweet potatoes. Allow to crisp – combine with apples and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. After about 5 minutes, the potatoes should have a little crispness to them, add the sausage back to the pan.  Add spinach to pan and combine. Allow 2 or 3 minutes to wilt the spinach. Give it a good stir and serve.


This tastes even better the following day!

I enjoyed my leftovers for lunch with a fried egg on top. It was everything! I plan on remaking this again in the near future and swapping out the sausage for black beans and a smoky paprika- and definitely keeping the egg!!!

Picnic in the Park


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On one of the first nice days of this season, hubby’s friends invited us to picnic. I have been dying for a picnic to use one of our bridal shower gifts from my friend Jen:


With its lovely insulated pockets we set out for a blanket feast. We were setting out to meet at noon on a Sunday so i figured some quiche and Mediterranean pasta salad was in order. Two things that could be served at room temperature without spoiling.


The quiche I prepared using a quick crust and lots of random fridge findings; bacon, mushrooms, onions, cheddar cheese, and eggs. One of my favorite things about quiche is how versatile it is. You need eggs, a little milk, some cheese and any meat or veggies you like. A bake in the oven and you have a delicious brunch/lunch/dinner dish that always wins!


This pasta dish was inspired by a catered event at the office. This pasta salad is mayo free and filled with everything good. This recipe will be a great addition to your summer picnic or bbq.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

1lb box of fusili or bowtie pasta

1/2 cup pitted black olives

1 cup diced cucumbers

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1 medium bell pepper, julienne

1 cup feta cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin

drizzle of balsamic vinegar (optional)

salt and pepper to taste.

**Boil pasta until cooked al dente. Once the pasta is cooked, drain excess water, place in a cool container or bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Allow pasta to cool before combining with all the ingredients. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. **


We had such a great picnic with tons of eats. it was perfect.

Anxiously craving my next picnic!

Honeymoon in Jamaica



One of the best decisions Brent and I made before we got married was to splurge on our honeymoon. Our previous vacation wasn’t our best- in fact, it was the worst vacay for the both of us – we made it work but promised that the honeymoon was going to SLAY.

I should preface this by saying the first trip we took together left B feeling a little sour on Caribbean vacations and he said after our honeymoon we should try something more stateside… happy to report we cannot wait to go to JAMAICA again!

We chose Couples Swept Away in Negril Jamaica for 7 blissful days. We kept several things in mind when booking this trip. 1. Adults Only. Can’t stress that enough. Nothing spoils a honeymoon quite like screaming children and teenagers being too cool for family vacation. 2. ALL INCLUSIVE. I wanted to pay upfront and relax. And that we did. 3. FREEDOM. No schedules. No meal times. Straight freedom.

The moment you land in Jamaica and make it through customs (prepare thy self), you are greeted with “Welcome Home”. We were greeted warmly with smiles and most of the folks we encountered told us if it was our first time we would surely be back.

We hopped on a shuttle to our resort. The ride was about an hour and a half away from the airport. We took in the trivia, the sights and sounds of Jamaica as it started to pour. A beautiful rain! The water was refreshing and the air felt CLEAN. A true escape from NY.


Exhausted and HUNGRY we checked into our room and made a bee line for whatever was open with food. The great thing about Couples- there is always something to eat. We happened upon what would become our favorite spot with quick and satisfying dishes likes Jerk Chicken, beef patties [with coco bread], fried red snapper sandwiches and nachos.


We actually started to order food to bring back to our room towards the last leg of the trip.


We enjoyed our first meal in Jamaica and spent the rest of the evening listening to the sound of the rain on our porch. (with bug spray!)20150416_094614

We quickly learned a routine that involved rising early, donning swimsuits and sunscreen, heading to breakfast and then lounging on the beach for the rest of the morning.




One thing a girl can get used to is the abundance of fresh fruit!!!

Loved the variety of breakfasts. From fresh fruit, to granola and yogurt, to callilou and eggs, to salt fish and ackee. So many things to go nuts over.


After several hours on the beach, we found ourselves exhausted and would grab a bit of lunch which usually consisted of freshly caught red snapper or a salad for me followed by a nap in our room until dinner.

20150418_135747 Brent always finds pizza. lol.

A fun fact. before we got to Jamaica, I read I should get used to the jamaican humidity. So when we checked in and tinkered with our air conditioner and not finding a COOL option, we thought OH- No AC… ok. And on the 3rd day i passed the housekeeper while cleaning another room and felt ice cold air. I walked into the room in pure amazement like i had never seen an AC before. “What is this magic you make to the air conditioner- you must show me!” I had never felt like such a bonehead before. Once that AC was poppin- we were on Cloud 9!


We caught dinner and a show one evening. IMGP0040

Caribbean night on another with local food favorites.    IMGP0068

Dressed up for fancy dinners… and dancing at what the locals call the DISCO.            20150422_092519

We ordered room service sometimes… Jamaican coffee is to die for. IMGP0073

I forced B to take pics.


We went on a sunset cruise on a catamaran boat with rum punch for DAYS.IMGP0062 IMGP0060 IMGP0055

Castles in Negril


We ordered champagne with everything – we fancy.

Overall, when it was time to go, we were ready for home. We missed our dog, our bed, our routine…you know how it goes. But boy did it awaken the desire to see the world. We cannot wait to, as the Jamaicans say, “come back home to Jamiaca”. We had the most wonderful time ever and came home to find this lovely card in the mail:


Wonderful Honeymoon! Next vacay soon, please?

Mediterranean Brunch


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At one of the very first signs of Spring weather a few weeks ago, Brent and I were invited to one of his former co-workers homes for a Mediterranean brunch. We were told to bring only ourselves and prepare for a treat.

Aside from having to commute to Long Island by train on the weekend (wasn’t as bad as I thought!”) we arrived to a delightfully fragrant home with our hostess sitting back sipping a pomegranate and champagne cocktail while the chef she hired for the day slaved away.

::record skips::


::giggles with glee::

I have seen/heard of this private chef thing but really had no idea how practical it was. Apparently, hiring a personal chef for a lunch or dinner is a click [and credit card] away. The cost can range per person but again, can vary. Our hostess, Roz, really wowed us with this. TREAT it was!


To start, we sipped pomegranate and champagne cocktails and snacked on the sweetest strawberries EVER.  While filling up on fresh fruit, we also enjoyed some shrimp tempura. Because – FOOD.

Everything that Chef Omar prepared for us was made from scratch.


Once we were done snacking on appetizers and Chef was putting the finishing touches on his brunch, we started with homemade yogurt, granola drizzled with honey and sliced kiwi. While the kiwi wasn’t an instant win for me, that yogurt tho! So creamy and was great with the granola!


Tried to pace myself but I was already envisioning the wall I was about to hit with all the deliciousness.


We placed the spread on a table to create a buffet style but soon we all decided the best course of action was to fill our plates with a little bit of everything.


Our buffet consisted of: GIANT buttermilk pancakes with an apple and pear compote, zucchini fritters, poached eggs with fiery chick peas and tomatoes… and that yogurt and granola I kept eating.



I thought “This isn’s so bad! I can def eat this!” and proceeded to wolf down a pancake the size of my face! A zucchini fritter the size of my fist! Protein packed eggs and fiberlicious chickpeas.

Truth: The odds were against me.

I powered through and devoured that mammoth plate of deliciousness. I was thinking with every bite “this is delicious!” – I may have also told Brent several times we are hiring Chef Omar to cater our next event.

We picked at our remnants as we made small talk about life and work and the chef bid us adieu as he prepped our dessert. An avocado key lime pie with a graham cracker crust.


If I’m being honest, this was a miss for me. It was as if eating sweet guacamole. I love guacamole but on chips or toast. Not in a pie. Thankfully, one of the other attendees made oreo truffles that I cannot wait to make on my own!


I snapped a pic of the group with the chef in the middle.

Overall, I had an amazing experience. I would totally hire a chef for a few hours to allow me to mingle with my guests…but I really do love cooking. Maybe I can make the dessert.

Decisions, Decisions.


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