RUSTICO.

With only one month left living in NOVA, it saddens me to think that I will no longer be within a ten mile radius of my favorite restaurant. Favorite restaurant in the whole wide world. Rustico, you feed my soul. Literally. Last night I stopped by for a burger and fries and was once again reminded why you are my favorite.

These photos are from last fall after my brother completed the Marine Corps Marathon. Boston bib salad and fig and prosciutto pizza. So many celebrations have happened at Rustico, including my own graduation lunch. I can even remember the very first time my brother introduced us years ago. Dinner was fantastic, but I was won over by a mandarin orange cheesecake dessert. I was never the same again.

MOJITOS.

Mojitos. The ultimate summer drink. Refreshing, delicious, and so easy to make.  Follow this recipe and you’ll be sipping some summer sweetness in no time at all. And please, whatever you do, never buy the prepackaged mix!

2 ounces of white rum
1 ounce simple syrup or sweetened lime juice
(simple syrup // equal parts sugar and water, dissolved together)
8-10 fresh mint leaves (the more mint, the merrier)
1 small lime juiced

Combine ingredients and muddle the leaves with a muddler or hard flat surface (e.g. end of a wooden spoon). The more you muddle, the more mint flavor you will taste. Add a generous amount of ice and top off your glass with club soda or sparkling water. Stir and enjoy! (Note If you like your cocktails sweeter, just add more sweetened lime juice or simple syrup)

TASTE OF SUMMER.

Happy Memorial Day! Despite what the calendar says, it is now officially summer as far as I’m concerned. For one, we are hitting the 90 degree mark today. The humidity rolled in a while ago and I have a feeling it will be here to stay. Today is Memorial Day, which means the swimming pools are open and crowds are gathering at the beach. Already busted out the Old Bay and mom made her irresistible homemade Maryland crab cakes.

My parent’s backyard symbolizes the epitome of summer for me. A relaxing oasis of endless flora and fauna. A place to lay in the sun or build a fire under the stars. Sometimes an outdoor living space can feel more like home than one would expect.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend and day off!

ONE YEAR LATER.

In exactly one week, it will be exactly one year since that lovely May day when I walked across the stage and accepted my diploma from Marymount University. Soon after, my high school bestie joined me in celebration and together we popped some champagne and toasted our accomplishments.

Life after graduation has been interesting to say the least. I felt like a real grown up walking across that stage. Little did I know just how much more I would learn and experience in one seemingly short year. I feel proud on many accounts. Proud that it has also been almost one year of being car-free. Proud that I have educated myself on America’s food system and the harsh realities that Americans need to face about our culture and government. I also feel blessed. Blessed that I was able to visit so many great cities like Seattle, Portland, Boston, Orlando, NYC, Charleston, and Hilton Head Island. And blessed to be hanging on in this not so wonderful economy.

Cheers to my friends who will be graduating this Sunday! It really is an exciting time and I wish you all the best of luck.

 

JE T’AIME.

Two years ago today, I spent the loveliest of days in Paris, France–running through the streets, stopping for tea at Laduree, watching the sun set over the city from the Eiffel Tower, dining on fondue and flourless chocolate cake and delicious red wine.  I’m sure it will be one of the best Valentine’s Day I ever have because 1. it was in Paris, and 2. it was celebrated with a best friend. Oh, and 3. the night ended with Nutella sandwiches.

And the second best Valentine’s Day? The year I got Free Willy on VHS.