Last-chance gazpacho

last-chance gazpacho // sweetsonian

last-chance gazpacho // sweetsonian

I’ve had these photos in store, but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and put together a decent set of words.

There’s probably just a handful of days left in DC for grabbing summer tomatoes — run! do so quickly! — so I figured I needed to post this recipe ASAP.

It’s been an exhausting couple of weeks, filled with freelancing and negotiating photo rights, but I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend filled with yoga, sleep, and reading. I’m putting a do-not-disturb sign on my life. Have a great fall weekend! Xo.

last-chance gazpacho // sweetsonian

last-chance gazpacho // sweetsonian

last-chance gazpacho // sweetsonian

last-chance gazpacho // sweetsonian

last-chance gazpacho // sweetsonian

Last chance gazpacho, as inspired and dictated by Rebecca Matulka  Continue reading “Last-chance gazpacho”

Summer Snapshots

the view from the paddle boats, tidal basin, washington, dc // sweetsonian

beaver damn swimming club 2014 // sweetsonian

{ diana jumping off a rope swing at beaver dam swimming club in maryland }

terrarium at the national botanic museum // sweetsonian

{ a terrarium at the national botanic museum // washington, dc }

hakata classic @ toki underground // sweetsonian

{ hakata classic, ramen from toki underground // washington, dc }

the view from the paddle boats, tidal basin, washington, dc // sweetsonian

{ the view from the paddle boats — we may or may not have smuggled cans of champagne onto our boat }

pop tarts at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonian

{ the pop tarts // ted’s bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc }

mac and cheese at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonianpop tarts at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonian

{ the mac and cheese // ted’s bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc }

the ted's burgh' at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonianpop tarts at ted's bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc // sweetsonian

{ the ted’s burgh’ // ted’s bulletin on 14th street, washington, dc }

sailing in the bay

sailing // sweetsonian

sailing // sweetsonian


The darling family that takes us sailing got a new boat and started docking at a different marina (good bye, my sweet, sweet dream home — see you in ten years, when I build one of my own). The wind wasn’t around, for the most part, but the day was still gorgeous, and the water was unbelievably glassy. It reminded me of my morning swims in Tanzania — the morning water always looked like it was generated by a computer. Mesmerizing, tranquil, and shockingly beautiful.

Anyway, here are a few shots from my weekend. I need to remember to take my camera with me more often, because this baby is a winner.

sailing // sweetsonian

sailing // sweetsonian

sailing // sweetsonian

sailing // sweetsonian

sailing // sweetsonian

sailing // sweetsonian

sailing // sweetsonian

sailing // sweetsonian

“Side galloping,” as depicted by Kristen (left). I know she’s kinda weird, but she’s an incredibly talented teacher (and one of those teachers that I desperately wish I had at my school growing up). If you’re looking for a good cause to participate in, she and our friend Elise are raising money to help get enough projectors and computers for their school here in DC. Read more about their school in the link!

Butter-Poached Lobster Rolls

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

You guys — lobster tails were on sale at Whole Foods last week (tipped by Shaeda) so naturally, we went a little crazy. I picked up a few tails, and was pretty set on making some butter-poached lobster rolls.

My first lobster roll wasn’t too long ago — as a kid, I wasn’t always the biggest fan of lobster. I didn’t dislike lobster, but I did (and for the most part, still do) feel that lobster was unnecessarily expensive. It’s good, but it’s not as good as say, a fantastically prepared steak.

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

I haven’t had many opportunities to chow down on seafood this summer (less sailing, few trips to the north east), but we made sure to get back on track with homemade lobster rolls. The butter-poaching process gives you an even more tender meat, and I’m personally a bigger fan of the hot lobster roll, the simpler, less-mayo-y version that leaves you with chunks of meat, tossed in melted butter, chives, and salt and pepper.

If you luck out at Whole Foods and find lobster tails for $5.99, get some, and give yourself a real piece of summer :)

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

Oh Emma Thompson. You get me every time.

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

butter-poached lobster rolls // sweetsonian

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Butter-poached lobster rolls (makes 2), after the jump. Continue reading “Butter-Poached Lobster Rolls”

Popsicle Swap

blood orange popsicles // sweetsonian

I told you about my office’s soup swap before, which we copied from Shaeda’s office on the Hill. But since soup swap started, our little creative office decided that soup is just not enough. We evolved with cheese swaps, cookie swaps, and with the recent heat waves, have moved on to popsicle swaps.

But seriously, DC was the hottest spot in the nation yesterday at noon. Hotter than Death Valley. DEATH. VALLEY.

Meanwhile, I took a lunch break trip to Marshall’s, and when my coworkers asked me how it was outside, my response was “not bad.” Who am I?

Anyway, our popsicle swaps happen every Thursday afternoon for a few weeks. Each week, three members of our team bring in enough of one kind of popsicle for everyone to try. You have one (or two) on popsicle swap day, and the rest are stored in the freezer for you to munch on later in the week.

It’s a nice little break for our little muggy office. I meant to make my own popsicles for the swap, but with catsitting this little dude, freelance and AirBnb, I’ve just been a little too busy. In honor of popsicle swap, I’ve pulled together a few of the recipes that I’m just dying to try for this summer.

In the market for some popsicle molds? These are my fave.

margarita popsicles // sweetsonian

Margarita pops, because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Look at that pretty green hue!

blood orange popsicles // sweetsonian

Blood Orange Popsicles — my favorite citrus fruit, ever.

honey yogurt berry popsicles // sweetsonian

Honey yogurt berry pops — creamy and relatively healthy.

greek yogurt fudgesicles // sweetsonian

Greek yogurt fudgesicles — probably my favorite way to eat Greek yogurt. Ever.

While you’re at it, check out some of my other Sweetsonian cold treats: 

almond ice cream // saltine brownie ice cream sammies // firecracker popsicles

mint chip ice cream // honey vanilla affogato // strawberries & cream icebox bars

And, if you’re not following along on social media, check out Sweetsonian here!

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Cucumber Bay Breeze



You can usually gauge how crazy I am by how often I actually update this blog.

When I’m relaxed and absolutely in love with life, you’ll see a few posts here a week. They might not always have a new recipe — especially with all the traveling I did this summer. I just always want to share the fun and beautiful people and places that are part of my life.

Mostly, the people. But I’m never really sure how they’d feel about their photos being posted here on the internet.

Today, you see, I’m recovering from a cold. Or the flu. Or whatever the difference is between those two words. So really, there’s not much to share today, aside from a mild addiction to Emergen-C packets and Zicam rapid melts. And chocolate chips (shh, don’t tell Shaeda).




The past few weekends have been absolutely, positively, unquestionably magical. Last weekend, I spent a good 48 hours in New York City to attend the most beautiful wedding I’ll probably ever get to see in my entire life — a weekend dominated by my new obsession with everything black tie and interspersed with a wild Friday night out and a charming Sunday afternoon with my great aunt and uncle, who live in the apartment of my dreams at 97th and Central Park West. One of these weekends, I’ll take my camera with me and snap a photo of the view for you. They have quite the adorable story to go with that view, too.

Plus, Aunt Mary is another bourbon girl. I appreciate that.

I digress. Today, I have a cocktail recipe. While gin was once widely used medicinally, the gin will have little or no effect on today’s illness. Rather, various renditions of this cucumber cocktail has appeared so frequently in my hand this summer that you’d think I planned the whole thing.

Well, it all started during restaurant week here in DC, when I was dealing with clients from hell and juggling an unequivocal week of temporary insanity. Shaeda coerced me into drinks, which turned into dinner, which turned into just spending too much money on good food, which is something I’ve been so good at lately that I should list on my resume.

It started with this drink. We had two each at MXDC. Then we looked up the recipe and made our own versions, in my kitchen over dinner.

And then, in New York, April and I went out for bougie rooftop cocktails and asked the bartender for something cucumber-y. She made this, two or three times for us… before I embarked on my night-of-a-thousand-straight-bourbons.

I really can’t get enough of this. While I can’t drink it right now, you definitely should.




Cucumber Bay Breeze, inspired by the Baja Breeze at MXDC

2-3 cucumbers
Juice from 2-3 limes (I had key limes, so we used several)
Tanqueray or Hendricks Gin
Simple Syrup
Ginger ale

First, juice the cucumbers. I don’t have a juicer, so I peeled, chopped, and pureed them using a food processor and a few splashes of water before straining them with cheesecloth. Get as much cucumber juice as you can.

In a shaker, combine about 1 cup cucumber juice with a few tablespoons lime juice, a few tablespoons syrup and about 1/2 cup of gin. Fill with ice cubes and shake vigorously. If you don’t have a mixer, use a mason jar.

Pour into cocktail glasses, and top with a splash or two of ginger ale. Garnish with a lime and a cucumber stick to stir with.


Fig and Bourbon Fizz


I know I probably say this all the time, but this was one of the most stressful weeks of my life.

Having just arrived home from Europe on Saturday, I went to work on Monday kind of excited — I knew after having been gone for a couple of weeks, my team would probably have some exciting projects in the works.

That part was very true. Lots of good stuff will be coming from the Energy Department digital team in the next couple of months.



What I did not anticipate was a barrage of disasters from freelance clients. So, instead of having a leisurely week back from vacation with some nice projects for the day job, I spent sleepless nights putting together draft after endless draft of the same infographic 8 billion different ways. Today, I woke up early to start wireframing a project that’s been on my calendar for upwards of a month (I love people who plan ahead), but the disaster projects were over, so it was actually pretty therapeutic.

But yesterday, in the midst of the crisis and after two nights with minimal sleep and maximum stress, I attempted to write a blog post on my lunch break. That was an epic fail. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t write a sentence that wasn’t a form of frustration venting about nightmare projects. And right at that moment, I had an epiphany. It is 100 percent unacceptable to let myself get that stressed out over a freelance project. So I drew a line. I closed my computer, went back to the office, and worked on day job projects that I enjoy. And then, I went to dinner with Shaeda, who graciously dealt with my venting and reassured me that quitting all of freelancing was not the solution. Thanks, girl.

Anyway, two cocktails and an order of lobster guacamole later, I was at peace. But maybe that was just the booze.




In the short interval between Europe and that disastrous work week, Nikki invited me to #figfest at a friend’s apartment. And fig fest it was — there was fig chutney and fig crostini… and fig and bourbon cocktails. What I would do to have one of these for happy hour tonight.

Recipe below. Missed y’all!



Fig and Bourbon Fizz, from My Recipes

Makes enough for one drink — so multiply accordingly.

1 fresh, whole fig
6ish fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
Ice cubes
1/2 cup ginger ale
Mint sprig for garnish

Tools: cocktail shaker, something to muddle with

First, muddle the fig, mint leaves, and brown sugar in your cocktail shaker. You’ll want to break the fig down pretty well. Then, add bourbon and enough ice cubes to fill the shaker up. Cover with the lid and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.

Strain into a glass or jar filled with ice cubes, and top with ginger ale to taste and a mint leaf. Drink immediately.

If you’re not following along on social media, check out Sweetsonian here!

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Recently Pinning: Sweet Things


panna cotta rhubarb tart // strawberry pretzel tart // bourbon peaches & cream pops
puff pastry donuts // ritz cracker ice cream sammies // apple & dark chocolate wontons
trix krispies // caramel espresso lassi // brown butter waffle cake

With the summer heat in full-blast, I find myself craving easy, cold — fresh — desserts. Here are some of the recipes I’ve been pinning lately.

Hope you’re able to stay cool in this crazy heat wave.

And if you’re not following me on Pinterest yet, please do!