Washington D.C.

Recently (sort of…March), Cody and I went to DC. His aunt was going to be in town from California and we decided to drive in and meet her. The weekend we went happened to be in the middle of the cherry blossom festival, so I planned and fretted over the CROWDS and the TRAFFIC, and made sure we left the house by seven a.m. and when we got there the whole city was a ghost town. I felt a little silly.

Washington DC Eastern Market and the Capital Building

With plenty of time to kill before dinner with the auntie, we decided to hoof it over to eastern market. Eastern market is some kind of required pilgrimage for the food-obsessed visiting the capitol. It was pretty cool with a small, but well-edited selection of fresh produce, meat, cheese, baked goodies, and nick-knacks. I had fun ogling all the varieties of bacon. There was also an entire stand dedicated to pickles and one dedicated to crepes.

Eastern Market Meats

Despite the fact that I had just had breakfast at starbucks, (a bacon and egg sandwich) I indulged my inner hobbit and made a “second breakfast” of a crepe with ham, apples, maple syrup, and muenster cheese. I do not regret it.

Eastern Market Crepes

After making a pig of myself, we hit the museums. I saw an original Gutenberg bible at the Library of Congress and we visited the iconic elephant at the natural history museum.

The Smithsonian Museum

Then we ate lunch at the air and space museum. It was hellish. We chose that location out of desperation. The crowd was massive, mostly comprised of adolescents, and cranky. There was nowhere to sit (we stood), and I saw three separate people spill soda on the carpeted floors. Carpeted floors in a food court is a horrible idea. When you go to DC, avoid the air and space museum at lunch time. It’s a great place, but not for food.


We had the most fun at the American History museum, due to the fact that there are many mannequins. That’s me being creepy with a mannequin on the right. There was also lots of movie memorabilia. I was disappointed to find out that the belly of C3PO’s suit was just a thermal shirt.

Michelangelo Ninja Turtle

We also stopped to admire a Michelangelo. It was radical.

  1. man, there is so much to do in DC! I love the pictures. especially this last HUGE one of michelangelo.

    Miranda — May 29, 2011
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  2. Thanks for reminding me that we"re overdue for a trip to dc. Have you been to the Reading Terminal Mkt. in Philly? Go.

    kim p — May 29, 2011
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  3. we live just up the street from eastern market! it does not get old for me (except when it's too hot or too cold for the outside market). next time you come out we should meet up :)

    hannah — May 29, 2011
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  4. Kim, I haven't been to the one in Philly, but I love markets of all kinds so I'll definitely have to check out Reading Terminal Market. Hannah, I'm jealous that you get to live in the city. Next time I plan a trip there we'll let you know so we can hang out. Also, your blog is adorable and you and Robbie are the cutest.

    courtney — May 30, 2011
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Adventure Time: Homemade Butter with Truffles

This weekend I decided to try my hand at butter making. The whole experience was pretty educational. I’d recommend giving it a try if you have a stand mixer and are looking for an easy recipe that will make you feel like you know something. Or you can just look at these pictures and pretend.

Start by pouring a pint or two (I used two) of cream into the bowl of your stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, start whipping the cream on a low-ish setting. Once the cream gets frothy enough to stop splashing, bump the speed up to high. If you wanted to make whipped cream, you’d stop the mixer when the cream’s consistency was somewhere between the picture on the left and the picture on the right – fluffy but not stiff.

Whipping Butter

But we aren’t making whipped cream, we’re making butter. So keep mixing.

After a few minutes of sustained, high-speed mixing the buttermilk will start to separate from the butter. Turn the mixer back to low to keep the buttermilk from splashing out of the bowl. When the butter and buttermilk look like the pictures below, pour everything into a colander and let the milk drain away. Run the butter curds (or whatever they’re called) under cold water until the water runs clear – this will help your butter last longer. At this point, I packed the butter into a ball and wrapped it in paper towels to allow it to drain further. I don’t like water in my butter.

Butter Curds and Buttermilk

Now’s the time to contemplate flavorings. I had my heart set on making truffle butter, so I grated a truffle. You could add salt, garlic, fresh herbs, pepper, or spices to your butter. You could even add sugar if you want. It’s butter, so whatever you add is going to taste good. Go nuts.

Grated Truffles

Hindsight being 20/20 I should have used two truffles in my truffle butter. At eight bucks a pop, I couldn’t even fathom using more than one, but the truffles were too mild to adequately flavor the amount of butter I made. Lesson learned. Next time I will look for truffle oil or fresh truffles to add to the mix as well.

Jars of Homemade Butter and Homemade Bread

All that’s left to do at this point is put some of your fancy homemade butter on some fancy homemade bread and eat it.

OR you could do this:

Truffle Butter Parmesan Cheese Bread

homemade truffle butter + Parmesan cheese + homemade bread + broiler = good food.

Put that homemade butter in a cute little jar and stash it in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. Then pat yourself on the back fancypants, you just made butter from scratch.

  1. I have no idea what a truffle is. Is that sad? The whole time I was reading, I kept thinkin gyou were going to either add a chocolate truffle to your butter, or use your butter to make a chocolate truffle. I guess you can say my mind revolves around anything chocolate! This sounds fun to try. I have only over made butter by shaking it in a jar, but this sounds MUCH easier.

    Katie Weeks — May 3, 2011
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Broom's Bloom

It’s spring here in Maryland. My Utah friends should be jealous (I hear it snowed there last weekend, suckers). We’ve fired up the barbecue several times already this season and spent more than one balmy night around the fire pit making s’mores. I’m usually a pretty adamant indoor girl, but something about spring on the east coast makes me want to reconnect with nature. One of my favorite ways to do this is by driving a few miles into the country to eat the local and homemade ice cream, soup, and sandwiches at Broom’s Bloom Dairy.

Broom's Bloom

Broom’s Bloom ice cream is made from cream that comes from cows that you can see grazing from the little restaurant’s patio. All the flavors are made on the farm from fresh ingredients and are sold by the cone, cup, or take-home pint. One of the house favorites is “dirt” which is a mixture of crushed oreos, chocolate chips, and rich chocolate ice cream – it’s intense enough to give you the sweet sweats if you eat it too fast (you know, kind of like the meat sweats, but usually concentrated around the under-eye or upper-lip area, brought on by eating particularly rich and delicious desserts…I know I’m not the only one). They have all the standard flavors as well; like vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and a rotating list of specialty flavors like coconut almond and cake batter; all of which are excellent. On my most recent visit I had a honey, vanilla, and cinnamon flavor, which is officially my new favorite.

Broom's Bloom Cheese

If you have time for more than a quick stop, I’d recommend settling in and ordering a sandwich and soup combination meal (aptly named “the cowman’s repast”) that includes your choice of soup, a half sandwich, and a little scoop of ice cream for dessert. The soups and some of the sandwiches are part of a rotating menu that changes every day, so every time you go you have something new to try. Last time I went, the featured soup flavor was a creamy red pepper that managed to be rich and comforting without being too heavy. My sandwich was a substantial half meatball sub that was the real deal: bright, flavorful sauce that didn’t lean too heavily (as many inferior sauces do) on sugar, tomato paste, or herbs and well seasoned meatballs that tasted homemade, topped with a bit of parmesan cheese. My dad went for the “dairymaid’s delight” that included a cup of soup, a biscuit, local cheese and fruit with a small ice cream.

Broom's Bloom Meatball Sandwich

On our last trip, we arrived right around dusk and it was too dark and chilly to take advantage of the large outdoor patio. When the days get a little longer and the nights a little warmer, the patio will be packed with people hanging out under the string lights, probably listening to a local band while they eat and visit. And I will be back to join them.

Before you leave, be sure to check out the fridges – they are filled with locally raised meats, homemade sausage, locally made cheese, eggs from local free-range chickens, and organic local milk. Do you see how many times I just said LOCAL? I also happen to know from personal experience that the Creswell garlic and chive cheddar makes a bangin’ grilled cheese.

Broom's Bloom Sausages

Marylanders, forget hiking, biking, and kayaking. This spring, get back to nature by eating. Preferably at Broom’s Bloom Dairy.

Broom’s Bloom Dairy
1700 S. Fountain Green Road (MD 543)
Bel Air, MD 21015

  1. My dad swears by that place!! He calls it "the dairy". I hear about it at least once a week during the summer - which is super awesome when you are vegan.

    caitlin — May 3, 2011
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  2. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    mikerosss — May 4, 2011
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  3. LOVE broom's bloom. their italian herbs cheese is my favorite. It's a once a week stop for our family in the summer. Their salads with their house dressing is great... but probably best when the produce is local and in season. seriously we need to get together.

    likely — November 10, 2011
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