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Showing posts from August, 2010

Marrakesh Palace

A few minutes walk from Dupont Circle's metro station, you'll step into a very interesting dining experience...

 Marrakesh Palace doesn't look much outside, but don't be deceived. As a start, you'll get a huge serving of olives and bread.  You'll marvel at the cushioned seats, lamps, torches and the intricate designs on the wall. A fountain center piece. The restaurant's set up and design creates a feeling that you're not in DC anymore.
If you'd like to look at the food photos, please click here.

My Ensaimada

Good morning, Thursday :).

This ensaimada has brought me smile and contentment today. I have been craving for this pastry for so long. While dining at the Filipino restaurant last night, I saw a bunch of them at the counter and immediately bought one (How I wish I bought two.). I thought I could bring it to work for breakfast.

For the life of me, I spent the whole night tossing and turning thinking about the pastry. I wanted to devour it right there and then, but since I've already decided to have it for breakfast, I had to be patient.

Anyway, the ensaimada is gone to the last cheese, butter and sugar. I'm wondering when will I have one again.


Guest post of the week by Val Flores

I love watching WISN news every morning when I'm getting ready for the day. They start at the absolute perfect time of 5am. This is precisely when I'm waking up so I don't have to miss a thing. Living alone makes it difficult to crawl out of bed in the morning because no one is there to keep me awake as I almost sleep through my morning routine. The news anchors on WISN have the perfect southing and complimenting voices to keep me awake but not annoy me. Every morning right after I switch off the alarm I turn on the television. The remote is located right next to my alarm clock just for that reason. Using the satellite tv channel log I got on I flip to the right station and get my morning news. By the time I get to work I know exactly what had gone on the previous day all around the world and have many conversation starters. I feel well educated knowing about political events and new medical breakthroughs. I also get …

Tysons Corner Center

While waiting for our dinner reservation at The Palm, we explored the known upscale, largest shopping mall in the state and in the Baltimore-Washington area. The whole set up of the mall is impressive. Unfortunately, most stores there sell stuff I can't afford, so we just stuck to window shopping and taking photos.

 Plenty of space.  Not crowded for a Sunday afternoon.  Behind the potted plant is Juicy Couture.  One of the art/sculpture displays made of Murano glass from Italy.  Obviously a lot of thinking and design was put into this place.  The Maserati on display and check out that island of "living room with piano" set up. This is one reason I love this mall because there's plenty of places to seat and relax.  I love the potted plants on this section.

Happy Wednesday to all!

15 Items or Less

This guest post from Alice Wall

I am a list person and I always keep a running list of items I need at the grocery store. I don't go on a specific day each week but I usually go when there are ten items on my grocery list. I'm not a huge fan of waiting in lines so I like to go to the express lane for fifteen or less items. The reason I wait until there are ten items on the list instead of fifteen is because when I set the limit at ten I still have plenty of wiggle room for impulsive purchases or things that may have slipped my mind. Each week like clockwork I will go through seven frozen pizzas, a case of Coke Zero , and a bottle of coffee creamer. Occasionally I will need some potato chips or ice cream for a snack but I'm hardly at home long enough o need anything besides a frozen pizza and a can of soda. I'm no health nut as I'm sure it is obvious but I know what I like and I am in relatively good shape regardless. I keep the list on a magnetic notepad on the fro…

Chocolate Love

There are days I just indulge with chocolate. And with every bite I take, life's troubles seem so faraway. (Kayni)
 I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process.... It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?
 I never met a chocolate I didn't like. (Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) in Star Trek: The Next Generation)
 There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.
 All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! (Lucy Van Pelt in Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz)

Le Chat Noir

Dining at Le Chat Noir involved tastey snails, flavor explosion from the Bouillabaisse, and melt in your mouth Creme Brulee and much, much more.

To read more, click here.

Friday's Breakfast Duo

I'm still trying to recover from last night's dinner at Le Chat Noir (review coming soon), so for today's breakfast, I opted for a cup of cafe roast and Caribou Coffee's handcrafted oatmeal, "maple brown sugar crunch." This oatmeal is my favorite. I think that since we're doing restaurant week three nights in a row, a light breakfast and lunch would suffice.

How about you? What's your favorite breakfast?

I'm looking forward to tonight's dinner at Marrakesh Palace Pasha Lounge, and I'm glad it's Friday.

Food And Finding Calm

It's DC Restaurant Week and I am looking forward to trying three restaurants this week. PW and I will be dining at:
Le Chat Noir (French)Marrakesh Palace Pasha Lounge (Morrocan)The Palm (American Steakhouse) I will try to post my reviews at my food blog, Edible Hunts, and this is if I won't devour the food before I even get a chance to take some photos.

My family problems, I think, are starting to take care of themselves. Thank you to those who left encouraging messages; I really appreciate all your thoughtful and caring messages.

I am beginning to find peace and calm within - again.

Velletri Wine Festival

More photos found from my photo disc.

My classmates and I decided to attend a wine festival in a town called Velletri (Lazio). From Roma Termini, it was a 45-minute train to Velletri. From noisy Rome, we were whisked to a quiet, mountainous town.
Wine and grapes The town has an old, quiet and friendly feeling The town center of Velletri Decorations everywhere This fountain is at the center of the town You pay 1 Euro for an all-day event of tasting wine and eating all sorts of pastries and chocolates.
We spent most of the day wine testing and eating, so when it was time to go home, we were so buzzed that we missed our train; we then decided to take the bus instead. We trudged to the town's bus station, bought our tickets and boarded one of the parked buses. I dozed off after finding an empty seat. The bus was passing through mountains and villages when I woke up. I looked out the window and nothin looked familiar at all.  While one of my classmates started conversing with the bus driver…

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The Author of this post is Velma Baird

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is my all time favorite Nascar driver. I love to kick back with my friends, turn on the direct tv channel packages, and watch him race. Earnhardt drives number 88 for Hendrick motor sports. He was the 1998 and 1999 Busch series champion. Earnhardt also won the 2004 Daytona 500. I love to watch him race. He started racing at 17 years old in Concord, North Carolina. He began driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 1996. Then he began driving full time for the company in 1998. His father founded the company and knew he had the skills to become one of the best. In 2000 he won the rookie of the year award. His father died in an awful crash in 2001. Earnhardt Jr. continued the season and ended up with nine top five finishes, and ten top ten finishes. He also won a $1 million bonus that year. I love him because he has been through a lot in his life, and no matter what put all of his heart and soul into his racing. He is one of the very best…

Postcards From Brugge

Funny but I am writing this post from memory and aided with some online research. 2004 seems so long ago, and as I peruse the photos on my photo disc, I remember the experience but not the locations. My time in Belgium was short, but I managed to explore the city of Brussels and also visit Brugge.

As my roommate spent her time at the museums (she was an art history major), I had all the time to explore the city of Brussels and managed to join a tour to Brugge, which is the capital and largest city of West Flanders (Flemish Region). Brugge, also spelled as Bruges, is pronounced as Bruh Ha. Brugge is beautiful and it left me wanting to go back and visit again if given the chance. This city is also known as the "Chocolate City" as there are several chocolate makers in the area and a chocolate museum to boast called "Choco-Story." Unfortunately, I did not take any photos, but I remember buying a few boxes to take home.

Top, L-R: Entering Brugge, Town Hall Bottom, L-R: Cr…

Postcards From Brussels

A couple of nights ago, I was organizing my home office and found an old photo disc in one of the boxes. Glad to say that I found a disc full of travel memories.

Album: Brussels, Belgium (2004)
Photos of buildings taken at The Grand-Place or Grote Mrkt (Dutch)

Left to Right: Rin Tin Tin drawings on the wall, some church building from one of my walks, and another building at the Grote Mrkt

I love the architecture of Brussels.
I had no intention to visit Brussels at that time (I was a poor student.), but my roommate in Rome insisted that I accompany her to Brussels and that she's paying for the trip. Well, who would refuse a free trip? I found out at a later time that my roommate was scared to travel on her own and that she's got some issues about flying. Anyway, the trip was worth it and that I really enjoyed walking around Brussels. It's a small, clean city, and most of all, I really enjoyed eating Belgian waffles and chocolates.

Home Improvement

Guest written by our friend Sergio Chaney

Home Improvement is a great show to watch by yourself or with your family. I always watch it on my satellite television that I got after asking my self how much does cable tv cost per month. Tim is the dad that has his own home improvement show named Tool Time. He has a wife named Jill and three young boys at home. Al is Tim's assistant on the show. The show is really funny. When Tim is working they are trying to show people how to fix cars and houses. Tim always messes that up. He likes to add more man power to every tool or appliance that he gets his hands on. Which usually does not work and something gets destroyed. The staff up at the hospital knows him very well because he is always there with some type of injury. In one episode, Jill lets Tim drive her car to work and the happen to be putting up some steel I beams. Tim ends up pushing the wrong button and dropping the beam right on top of her car. He puts it in the shop and tries to h…

Birth Home

Last night, I received a heartbreaking call from my "birth home" which catapulted me into panic, distress, and depression. I felt my world shattered - again. As far as I remember, my family is always dealing with one crisis from another, so whenever I hear the word "birth home" I am beginning to associate this word to crisis, dilemma and other words that also pertain to suffocation and drowning. (I think anyone who has dealt with familial greed and envy knows how it feels. I associate it to drowning because I have a cousin who, was so envious I could swim/float, tried to drown me.)

In this entry, I would like to make it clear that the place I am referring to is Kalinga, Philippines - my birthplace.  So if you'd ask me how I identify my tribal identity. I am Kalinga by birth and Igorot by blood.

I will always acknowledge the Philippines as my "birth home" and Hawaii "my home." I was 17 when I left the Philippines and much of my life now is he…

Summer Of Vegetables

I can't remember if this is the third or fourth harvest. My backyard tomatoes are so generous, and I'm hoping that I'll keep harvesting until the end of summer. Most of these tomatoes were given away to neighbors and coworkers, and I am happy I could share them.

 In the truest sense of sharing, I gave a bag of tomatoes to my neighbor, and she in turn gave me a couple of potatoes, zuchinis, and onions. Apparently, my neighbor's family has a big vegetable farm in the area.
It's a summer of vegetables.

Pho For A Rainy Day

Tái, Nạm, Gầu, Gân, Sách
With medium rare steak, flank, fatty flank, tendon and tripe
What can I say, DC Metro is proving to be a transportation of mediocrity these days. It's appalling that they have the audacity to raise fares yet their service is seriously deteriorating. It makes me wonder what I am paying for and where is my money going. Yesterday was another Metro day marred with crowded trains, non-working escalators, stop and go traffic, and train delays. I can't hold back my huge disappointment any longer. DC Metro sucks!

After my long ordeal with the Metro, I reached my last station at 7 PM. It also started pouring again, and I was too tired, too frustrated, and too hungry to drive home and still cook dinner. I decided to check out Pho & Grill (Gaithersburg) instead; I pass it on my drive to 270.  Besides, I really needed a place to just relax and let go of my negative emotions before I go home. I've passed through the place several times but never got the chan…

Caribou Inspires

DC Metro was delayed again yesterday (this happens twice (or more) a week and this is in addition to the broken escalators and elevators - very disappointing transportation system!), so instead of fighting my way through a packed crowd, I decided to have a cup of coffee at Caribou Coffee and wait it out.

I've always liked Caribou Coffee especially that they have nicer, friendlier staff (Metro Center location) and really delicious dark chocolate drinks. I also love their breakfast selections and that I am a fan of their maple brown sugar crunch oatmeal. Anyway, while drinking my cup of iced mocha and scribbling my Metro frustrations on my journal, I noticed that there were quotes/messages on the napkins and my drinking cup. On a bad day like this, these inspirational quotes were just what I needed. Caribou did a great job on this. I spent my time at the cafe reading and writing them down on my journal.

Today, I'd like to share them with you. The ones in blue are my favorite quo…

A Peek: Home Office

Finally, my home office is ready to face the world. The project to renovate this room started about a couple of weeks ago, but due to the heat wave, we had to postpone working on the second floor due to the unbearable heat. Anyway, thank you to PW for spending the whole Saturday adding all the finishing touches, while I went out with R for some shopping and eating. Here are the before and after photos.

I didn't like the brown wall and the thick, heavy curtain so we took those off. I think this was formerly a kid's room due to the stickers on the wall.
The brown wall and curtain really made the room dark.

When the brown covering came off, this is what we have to deal with - ugly. This wall required so much spackling and sanding.
With newly painted walls...
All new - bookcase, curtain added.
I thought the paint and the softer curtain brightened the room.
Welcome to my home office :)