Breakfast Sliders, Three Ways

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

Yes, because this happened.

Breakfast sandwiches are my undoing. My. Undoing.

They also happen to be one of the easiest things to throw together if you’re hosting a big brunch. Why put together a giant, meticulous meal if you all drank a little too much the night before and all you need is a hangover cure? Hold the grease.

One of my biggest qualms with the breakfast sausage they sell at my Safeway is that the patties are a little too small for a normal English muffin. So this time, I figured, you know? Why not cut biscuits and eggs to fit the sausage perfectly? And that is how the breakfast sandwich sliders were born. I’d recommend prepping all of the ingredients first, and setting up a breakfast sandwich slider bar — with the bases, proteins, and toppings all there for everyone to make on their own.

That’s what we did, anyway :)

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

From left to right:

{ the classic }
biscuit, scrambled egg, sausage, cheddar

{ onion jack }
biscuit, scrambled egg, sausage, pepper jack, caramelized onions

{ the california }
biscuit, scrambled egg, sausage, spicy tomato mayo, avocado

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

Breakfast Sandwich Sliders, recipe after the jump Continue reading “Breakfast Sliders, Three Ways”

Pepper Jack Breakfast Bake, and a Giveaway!

pepper jack breakfast bake // sweetsonian

pepper jack breakfast bake // sweetsonian

Hi friends — so today, in addition to setting you up with a great brunch recipe, I’m here to tell you about a pretty awesome local production called the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS, for short).

If you’ve been reading a while, you probably already know about my love affair with all things Baltimore… mostly because of its hip, grungy art community, and my attachment to the art school I almost went to up there. Let’s be real — my heart aches every time I get an email from MICA. But maybe… someday, I’ll go back to school for my MFA.


A close friend got involved with BROS last year, putting on some pretty amazing performances. I was lucky enough to catch a round-up performance of last year’s show at Artscape, Baltimore’s huge, amazing, humid art festival. The Natty Bo was flowing. 

pepper jack breakfast bake // sweetsonian

pepper jack breakfast bake // sweetsonian

This year, the BROS are performing Grundlehammer — the description is here:

Gründlehämmer takes place in the land of Brotopia: a once-prosperous kingdom where the power of music can make crops grow, heal the sick, or smite an enemy. For 30 years Brotopia flourished and prospered – but a shadow has fallen across the land, cast by a tyrannical Dark King Lothario and an immortal cave-dwelling monster of unspeakable evil: the Gründle.

Something that I find particularly fascinating about the BROS is that, for the most part, every person that participates in these production, like myself and probably most of you, has a day job doing something completely different. I wouldn’t have realized this if a friend hadn’t mentioned this to me at the Artscape performance. I was pretty blown back by the talent, so I highly recommend trying to catch a show.

That being said, the BROS have teamed up with Thread Coffee in Baltimore and Yours Truly to sponsor a giveaway for two tickets to this year’s Gründlehämmer show — the tour is based in Baltimore, but they’re traveling to both Alexandria, VA, and Philly, PA for additional shows. In addition, the winner will get one bag of the BROS Blend coffee from Thread Coffee in Baltimore, MD.

Sounds great, right? There are a few ways to win — first, you MUST leave a comment below telling us which city you’d like to see the show in! Then, for extra entries, you can Tweet about the giveaway, like BROS on Facebook, or like Sweetsonian on Facebook. Each item will give you an extra entry in the giveaway. BUT — you have to do the additional pieces through Rafflecopter. If you don’t, it won’t count in the raffle! The contest ends at midnight this Friday, March 15.

Anyway, good luck! And check out the delicious BROS breakfast bake recipe below (Sweetsonian-ified, of course, for simplicity).

Also, I almost forgot — check out show dates and locations here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Recipe after the jump! Continue reading “Pepper Jack Breakfast Bake, and a Giveaway!”

Asparagus, Red Pepper and Sweet Corn Quiche

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

Well, fall is just flyin’ by, isn’t it?

The National Mall is dotted with shades of yellow and orange, and I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful season to end a particularly stressful week. One upside is that the pumpkin I carved after work with the @Energy digital team made it onto Politico, Science Mag, and the Huffington Post — how cool is that? Huffpo called it “the best Jack-O-Lantern they’ve ever seen.”


asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

fall in dc // sweetsonian

fall in dc // sweetsonian

fall in dc // sweetsonian

Anyway, aside from finally achieving Jack-O-Lantern fame, the week’s been filled with infographics, meetings, and my newly reinstated fitness routine, which I’ve been working 2-3 days of yoga into.

Yesterday was Halloween, and I got the chance to walk around the National Mall for a bit with a camera (I was photographing a coworker, dressed as Amelia Earheart, at the Earheart exhibit in the National Air and Space Museum. It was amazing).

The colors in the leaves just happened to match the warm colors in the tart perfectly, so I thought I’d share that with you. Yesterday was a gloomy day, but the leaves — and Jack-O-Lantern fame — easily brightened up my afternoon.

Emily describes me as being on a perpetual diet. Let’s just talk about how I started Monday off with three delicious cookies for breakfast. My neighbor made them. They were amazing, and I do not regret it.

fall in dc // sweetsonian

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

fall in dc // sweetsonian

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

asparagus, red pepper and sweet corn quiche // sweetsonian

 Asparagus, Red Pepper and Sweet Corn Quiche (recipe after the jump) Continue reading “Asparagus, Red Pepper and Sweet Corn Quiche”

Pumpkin Tea Cake

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

There’s a somberness that comes with the end of summer and beginning of fall. The air is drier, there sun is lower, and the sky feels a little bluer. Maybe it’s because the wind is a little colder.

But with every changing season, I reflect on the past few months — for me, summer was exhilarating. I was jet setting between California and New York and spotted through Europe (can I go back please?). The day job and the freelance clients have all been pretty amazing lately, so it’s safe to say I’m in a good spot.

I spent a couple of hours on Kristen’s floor with Winston last night, drinking wine and catching up after a busy day of work and biking all over DC. I’ve actually had a couple of anxiety filled days, mostly coping with the realization that no one is happy all of the time. It’s painful, to see people you care about struggling. Whether you’ve been in their shoes or not, it hurts. We meowed with Winston, told stories about how we’re too old to be drinking as much as we do, and chatted about the ups and downs, the balancing act of good times and bad times in our circles of friends.

A few of our close friends are going through some rough transitions in life, and I’ve been trying to figure out how the best ways to help them. Most of the time, I just want to rescue the people I love, take a few days off work and sit them down in my living room while I blast music and bake up a storm. Or fly to wherever they are and do the same in their own kitchen. It’s the company that matters; the location is usually meaningless.

Long story short, if you’re reading this, you know who you are. I love you, and this pumpkin tea cake is for you.

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

pumpkin tea cake // sweetsonian

Pumpkin Tea Cake, derived from the Tartine Cookbook

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup + 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (or three mini loaf pans) with parchment paper, and brush with oil or rub with butter.

In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together. Set aside.

In your stand mixer, beat together the pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, and salt on medium speed, until well-mixed. Add each egg, one at a time, fully incorporating before adding the next. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer on low speed, beating until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, and then beat on medium speed for 10 seconds to make a smooth batter.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan (or pans) and smooth the surface with your spatula. Bake until the centers are set and a toothpick comes out clean — the time will depend on your oven, but it should take about 1 hour.

Serve the cake at room temperature. It keeps well if wrapped in saran wrap, but it won’t last long.

Ginger Fried Quinoa


I’m no stranger to traveling alone. In fact, if I go someplace fairly far away, even if I’m visiting someone, I prefer taking the trip by myself.

There are a few reasons behind this — aside from the fact that I need time to myself to unwind, I can be very productive on a train or a plane. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve written a good chunk of the posts on this blog on trains to Baltimore or New York, or airplanes to Los Angeles.

I am a creature of habit. I like left window seats by train, and right aisle seats by air. I listen to a handful of playlists, but when I travel, I generally stick to full albums. At the moment, Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane is helping draw out thoughts and emotions that I tried to coax out hands that type them earlier this week. Side note: some of you associate your emo days with All American Rejects and teenage boys who wear eyeliner. Back in high school, I crushed on clownish nerds who skipped the classes to play classical guitar in the parking lot, so my emo days align more closely with Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz.


fried egg

Alone time is something I’m almost always itching for — it’s something that’s rare for me, because much of my free time is spent dedicated to the government, or to Google. And while I vowed to dedicate a certain number of hours this week to freelance work and blogging, I found myself in a series of Mad Men wormholes this week.

The choice of television show seems appropriate, now that I think of it — workaholics in the creative industry, each at varying stages on the happy-to-miserable spectrum.


When I’m not traveling, one of the few moments I generally get to myself is breakfast on a Saturday morning. As someone who spends Saturday nights at the gym or working at a coffee shop, waking up early and refreshed on Saturdays gives me a few hours of alone time before texts roll in and I set out for my day. So naturally, the food blogger that craves alone time cooks breakfast, for one.

Growing up with a Filipino mother, one of my favorite things to eat as a child was rice and soy sauce (some of you cringe, but the simplicity of rice and soy sauce makes me salivate). And sometimes, my mom would make fried rice with the leftovers. She’d scramble a few eggs, and I’d give it more soy sauce. As I type this, I realize why I’ve always struggled with carbs.

These days, I try to eliminate rice from my diet. So I’ve taken my childhood comfort food, and made it a little healthier, and a little more grown-up — I buy quinoa instead of rice, throw in a good chunk of fresh ginger, and top with green onions from my window garden.

It’s a good relax-in-bed-with-samurai-sudoku morning meal.

And when I crave company, well, I make something a little more fun. But when I need my morning in bed, the simplest meals are always the most satisfying.


Ginger Fried Quinoa, for one

1.5 cups cooked quinoa
A few tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (adjust to color and taste)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
Green onions – just an inch or two, diced off the tops
1 clove garlic
1 or two eggs

I generally keep a container of cooked quinoa in my refrigerator, in case I need some sort of quick meal or a backup lunch — but if you don’t, just cook some up according to the instructions on your package.

In a small frying pan, combine soy sauce with your quinoa over medium heat. Let it sit for a few minutes, and in the meantime, mince both your garlic and your ginger root. Add those into the pan, along with half of your green onions, and turn up the heat. I like to pat the quinoa down into a patty, so the bottom parts get crispy.

Taste as you go, and when you’re happy with it, go ahead and transfer your fried quinoa to a bowl. It generally takes about 10 minutes on the stove for me to get to that point.

Then, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel, grease with olive oil, and fry an egg or two to the yolk consistency you prefer. Serve on top of your quinoa, and top with the remaining green onions.

Labneh Breakfast B.L.T.


Last week was rough. Isn’t it horrible how your short work weeks can be the absolute worst? Sometimes, the world just wants you to work extra hard as punishment for having a day off.

Unfortunately for me, I spent most of my Memorial Day weekend with the flu — not fun. And being the optimist that I am, I convinced myself that I was not as sick as I actually was. So on Sunday, I went out for a few beers on a DC patio. There may or may not have been copious amounts of fresh donuts. And a $25 pig’s head. On a platter.



The consequence of tricking yourself into feeling healthier than you actually are, of course, trickles down over the course of a few days. Or a whole week. So throughout the entire week, I suffered the sick-enough-to-be-tired-all-day but not-sick-enough-to-not-be-at-work illness.

I pretty much couldn’t hold a single solid train of thought until Friday. And we all know how Fridays go.

(They don’t.)


I made up for the lethargy of last week with a super productive Saturday — I got back into my gym routine, cleaned my entire apartment, knocked out a few freelance tasks at a coffee shop, and then spent the afternoon and evening biking across DC to the Tour de Fat — a little hipster New Belgium beer festival at Navy Yard. It was too hot to take photos (in my mind), so my apologies for the lack of imagery. But the waterfront is gorgeous, and I got to explore my own personally unchartered territory of DC by bike.

Needless to say, I crashed into my bed the instant I got home, with the AC on full-blast. And I slept in, wandered to Whole Foods, where I eyed a container of labneh — a college staple when all of my friends were Lebanese.

The perfect cross between cream cheese and Greek yogurt does well on sandwiches. It was a good start to the end of the weekend.



Labneh Breakfast BLT

Whole grain sourdough, sliced
1 fresh heirloom tomato
1 egg
A few strips of bacon, baked or fried
2-3 tablespoons labneh

Heat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a large baking sheet with foil. Arrange your bacon on the foil, and bake for about 30 minutes, until crispy. When you remove the bacon from the oven, promptly drain each piece on paper towels on a separate plate.

Fry an egg to the yolk consistency you prefer, and toast two slices of whole grain sourdough. Generously spread one slice with labneh, and then top with your tomato, bacon, arugula and egg. Season with salt and pepper if you like — but the bacon and lebnah are pretty good on their own. I went without.

Lemon Cream & Blueberry Tart


Swamped at the day job, folks.

Here’s a great spring recipe for you to try this weekend.



Lemon Cream & Blueberry Tart

135 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
4.5 tablespoons water
3/8 tablespoons salt
225 g flour

8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup greek yogurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries (or any berry of your choice)


This tart dough recipe belongs to David Lebovitz — it’s by far the best crust recipe I’ve found. Ever. I also just adore the story behind it.

Let’s begin. Preheat your oven to 410 degrees.

In an oven-safe dish, combine the butter, olive oil, water, and salt. When the oven hits 410 degrees, place the dish with your crust ingredients in the oven for 15 minutes — everything will boil together. Then, carefully remove the contents, stir with a fork, and slowly add in your flour. BE CAREFUL. It might splatter.

Once combined, press your dough into your tart pan. I like crusts on the thicker side, but use your judgment. I trust you.

Spear the bottom of the dough with a fork, and bake your tart shell for 15 minutes, until it’s a nice golden brown. Then, let cool completely.

In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), whip the marscapone cheese with the Greek yogurt, and then slowly incorporate the powdered sugar. Whip in the lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.

Using a spatula, transfer your lemon cream into the tart shell. Smooth out the top, and throw some blueberries on there.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs


I have a confession to make, reader. I’m on a… diet.

Luckily for you, I’m a weekend blogger. And on the weekends, I give myself a few freebies.

This recipe actually doesn’t veer too far away of what’s on my weekday work-and-freelance eatable list (basically lots of protein, vegetables, and the occasional condiment to go with it).



Anyway, this weekend, I had a few breaks from my freelance work, so I was able to spend all of Sunday on my blogger extravaganza. Or… for this post, the eggstravaganza.

I may still be dealing with the dreaded wintry mix, but it’s officially spring, and real-life spring is just around the corner. With Easter Sunday coming up, I thought I should prep a nice brunch recipe.

My dad, and his New Yorker blood, is a huge fan of lox. I don’t obsess over it like most people I know, and I don’t normally eat it by itself, but I do love a deviled egg. And in this case, I do love lox. And Old Bay. And pickles. And eggs.

All-around good recipe.

It’s time to let that quintessential New York Jewish mother persona take over. You know she’s hiding somewhere in there. Let her out. Make these deviled eggs, let’s start off a wonderful week.




Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs, inspired by Food & Wine

Ingredients for 8 eggs (just multiply if you’re cooking for a crowd)
4 eggs
2 to 3 slices wood-smoked salmon, sliced, and any extra for garnish
1/4 cup mayonaise
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard (note: I like mustard. Perhaps start with 2, and add to taste.)
Dill pickles or cornichons — diced, about 1/3 cup
Old Bay seasoning for garnish


Hard boil your eggs — do this ahead of time, so you can work with chilled eggs later. There are many “tried and true” methods of hard boiling eggs. This is what works for me.

Fill a medium-sized saucepan with enough water to cover your eggs by about an inch. Heat the water and the eggs together on high, until the water boils. When the water starts boiling, set a timer for one minute — this is how long you should let the water boil. After, the minute is up, remove the saucepan from the heat altogether, and cover. Set another timer, for 30 minutes this time. During this 30 minutes, your eggs will finish cooking.

After 30 minutes, run the eggs under cold water until cool. As someone concerned about wasting water, I put them in an ice bath (large bowl + ice + water + salt). Either method does the trick.

With a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, wiping the knife clean after slicing each egg (because we don’t want yolk scraps on the edges of each egg white). Pop the yolks out, and place them in your food processor or blender. Set the whites aside.

Add the salmon, mayonaise, mustard, and half of the diced pickles. Blend until pink, light, and fluffy — about a minute or two. Taste test to make sure it’s lox-y enough. Feel free to add ingredients as you see fit. My measurements are generally estimates, anyway.

Fold in the remaining diced pickles, and transfer the mixture to a pastry bag or ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe into each egg white, and generously top with Old Bay seasoning. Garnish with a little slice of lox.

Bacon, Egg, Cheese, Avocado.


Living in a group house comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros: there is always someone to hang out with, younger roommates always make room for the best stories, and rent is pretty darn cheap.


Cons: sharing fridge space, sharing cleaning responsibilities, and dealing with noise and scheduling in general.

Needless to say, I love my house, but I’m more than ready for my own refrigerator and an office right next to my kitchen. Maybe even an awesome cat.

I never thought I’d catch myself aching for a studio, or wanting to live alone. I used to say that I’d just live in a group house until I was making bank, and then I’d just buy a two bedroom apartment to have on my own. A design studio/guest room really would be my end-all be-all.

Anyway, I’m toying with that. And the idea of not moving into a new apartment in DC at all, because… well, New York City maybe closer than it appears.



Breakfast Sandwiches


Bacon (1-2 slices per sandwich)
Brown sugar
English muffins (or croissants)
1/4 cup mayonaise
2 tablespoons tomato sauce (jarred is fine)
Garlic salt to taste
Red chili pepper flakes
Cheddar cheese, sliced


To prep the caramelized bacon, preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil — this makes cleanup easier. As illustrated in the photos above, line the strips of bacon about an inch apart, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Make sure to waste as little sugar as possible, because we’d rather have everything on the bacon.

Bake for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on what parts of the bacon are cooking faster — your oven probably has some hot spots. Be sure to rotate the sheet as necessary. When the bacon is finished, drain for a few minutes on paper towels, but remove once they drain because the paper will stick.

In a small bowl or jar, combine the mayonaise, tomato sauce, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes. Mix until smooth, and set aside.

Slice your avocado. Set aside.

Spray a small frying pan lightly with olive oil over high heat. We want the pan hot — hold your hand an inch or two over the surface to make sure it’s pretty hot. Then, crack an egg onto the pan. With a silicone spatula handy, delicately monitor the egg, keeping it as round as you can. Once the sides are solid enough, slide the silicone spatula under the egg, and gently flip it over. Cook to the desired consistency of the yolk, and only cook one egg at a time! Unless you want them to all cook together.

Lightly toast your English muffins before assembling the sandwiches. Spread a generous amount of the chile mayo on the bottom half, then place the egg, bacon, and avocado. Finish with a slice of cheddar cheese. Then, put everything in the oven or toaster oven until the cheese melts.

Hangover special, enjoy.