Spinach Squares

spinach squares // sweetsonian

spinach squares // sweetsonian

Yesterday was — well, I’m pretty darn sure — the best day of my life. A coworker hooked me up with one of the much-coveted White House tour tickets. Being the first day the White House has reopened its tours since sequestration’s budget cuts took place back in January. So it was a pretty exciting day, for anyone who was able to finally get a tour, and for the people who work at the White House.

We were held up in the East Room for what felt like forever when a friend commented on one of my Instagrams about POTUS and FLOTUS surprising everyone on the tours, so as you can imagine, my heart started racing. What would I say? Was it true? Would they still be there?

spinach squares // sweetsonian

spinach squares // sweetsonian

 

The secret service closed the doors to the Green room right when we were about to go through, which put us in front of the line for the next group. And once the doors reopened and we were shuffled through, I was greeted by none other than Michelle Obama herself, in all of her glowing glory. That woman is pretty in photos, but hot damn, she is 43290423 times prettier in person.

Anyway, being from Los Angeles, I’ve met my fair share of celebrities, but Michelle takes the cake.

I. Was. Starstruck. Especially when she greeted us with a big smile and a “HIIII! Welcome to my house!” Cue Sunny jumping all over her and my coworker. I, naturally, beelined to Bo, who was sitting a few feet away, simply panting and rolling his eyes at Sunny, who was literally leaping and bounding from the visitors, to the First Lady, to the people behind the cameras. I pet Bo for as long as I could, which was apparently too long, because Secret Service basically escorted me out.

My heart was racing for at least 30 minutes after that. Marissa and I proceeded to jump up and down and scream on the White House driveway.

Seriously, best day of my life, and those dogs are the fluffiest dogs in the world. So. Effing. Cute.

spinach squares // sweetsonian

spinach squares // sweetsonian

spinach squares // sweetsonian

This recipe comes from a friend and owner of yet another unbelievably adorable Portuguese water dog — Ollie. Maybe someday, Michelle will read this and schedule a play date for Ollie and Sunny. They’d make a darling couple.

Spinach squares, after the jump.

Continue reading “Spinach Squares”

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.”

*Swoon*

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”

Mushroom Quiche

This week is going to be a busy one.

I mean, September has just been leaning towards the crazy side. I’ll fill you in on bowling at the White House, Florence + the Machine, and the 200 mile relay race that I have not trained for when I get back next week.

In the meantime, this mushroom quiche should hold y’all over. Thanks for reading!

 

Mushroom Quiche, adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

Pastry Shell
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sicks or 225 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into a small dice
1/4 cup (60 ml) water, ice cold

Filling
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive or vegetable oil
About 1 pound mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter
2 onions, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (use 1 teaspoon only if dried/jarred)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 cups (475 ml) milk
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Instructions

In a stand mixer, combine the 2 cups flour with the salt. With the machine on low speed, add in the cubes of butter, just a few cubes at a time, until the butter is completely worked in. Slowly ad the water in. Once a solid dough is formed, wrap the ball of dough in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. If you’re in a rush, pop it in the freezer for a bit.

Have a pie pan prepared — rub it with some unsalted butter, and sprinkle some flour along the edges. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out your crust to about a 16-inch circle. Don’t worry about holes or wrinkles, because you can just patch those up with bits and pieces of crust. Transfer your crust to the pan, and make sure you fold the edges over the lip of the pie dish to keep the dough from slipping off the edges. Poke the bottom with a fork like crazy, and bake at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown.

In a large skillet, combine the olive oil, mushrooms, and finely sliced onions. Season with salt, pepper and thyme, and saute until the onions are translucent.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, and whisk in the parmesan, milk, and mushroom-onion mix. Pour into your baked quiche crust, and bake at 35o degrees for one hour.