Cabot Alpine Cheddar

Thank you to my New Englander friend Maureen, I can say with authority that Cabot Alpine Cheddar wins the taste test prize among Vermont cheddars. She and her sister ate their way through the cheeses of Vermont and this one emerged the clear winner.


She brought me some and I have to agree. It’s almost like Parmesan and cheddar mixed, it’s simply divine. And it’s lactose free! You seriously have to try it, you have no excuse. Unless you’re a vegan. But even then, I think Cabot is pretty nice to their cows. The best part of all? It’s sold at my tiny neighborhood Safeway so I can get it whenever I want. You should, too.


In other Cabot news, this delicious whipped cream is currently being peddled at Trader Joe’s. It is cheap ($1.99) and most excellent atop their pumpkin pies.

Dogtoberfest at Dacha

Tonight was Dogtoberfest at Dacha Beer Garden in Shaw. It was super cute, as there was an over representation of dachshunds, and if you don’t love a weiner dog, you must not have a heartbeat.

Everyone enjoyed the attention they got, including me. I got one man buying my food and another one telling me he’d like to show me his hidden tattoos later. Sehr geil. 😉

One thing that bummed me out: the fried pickles weren’t very good. The pickle spears were far too big. I stand by my claim that the best fried pickles in the city are at Wonderland Ballroom.


I have started doing podcasts at my job in which I interview people about their work in volunteer transportation (I work at a transit-related nonprofit). It’s actually fun and makes me want to interview my friends about things they’re passionate/well-informed about and post them here. Do you think that’s something anyone is interested in? I would keep them really short. Stay tuned.

Free Little Libraries


I am an AVID reader, and with that love of reading has come a crushing love of books. And I mean it when I say crushing. I’ve had stacks of books in my home fall upon various aspects of my person from time to time, causing minor discomfort/bruising.

Enough is enough. Rather than have another book fall on my head when I open my closet door, I’ve begun a book purge. And I mean it this time! No more hanging on to these books I’ll never read just because I can’t stand to part with anything inside a hardback binding.

Oh, who are we kidding. I hoard paperbacks, too. It’s an illness!

That’s where this neighborhood gem comes in: the Free Little Library. Like the free penny jar next to the cash register: you got a book, give one, you need a book, take one. Until now, I’ve consistently erred on the side of needing one or two or three, but now I’m paying it all back, plus interest.

Book stack

It might take a couple trips.


The pope is in town visiting for a couple of days this week. There have been many festivities, for example:


I didn’t go to the rally, although I absolutely agree we have a moral obligation to treat our living earth better than we do.

I stayed home and worked. Lots of people were asked to work from home to help with pope traffic, so my office closed yesterday and today and we all telecommuted. I am not catholic, so I didn’t really get a full grasp of what his visit meant. I am sure religious people got more out of this experience than I did, but truly all the news, word-of-mouth, and social media seem to be talking about is how bad traffic is.

This is what it’s like to have a front row seat for history. We complain about the traffic.

There are also a lot of Spanish language “prayer cards” taped to lampposts around the city.


The weird thing is, when you turn one over, it actually looks like a hotline to get your tarot cards read, or get a spell put on you or something.


Truly, nothing is sacred.

It’s Pomegranate Season


I simply adore pomegranates and am so excited they’re in season again. If you’ve never had one, don’t be daunted. You cut through the tough flesh and then pick out the abundance of seeds inside. And eat the seeds! I found a video that will show you how to cut through the skin:

He stops before he shows you how to get the seeds out, but they’ll basically tumble out if you pick at them with your fingers.

My favorite way to eat them is mixed with plain (not vanilla), full fat yogurt. It’s a great breakfast or snack.

Restaurant Review: Old Stein Inn


On yet another weekend adventure, Christopher and I recently went to hang out in Annapolis. When dinner time rolled around, we wanted something with a nice patio for the dog and good reviews. We happened upon Old Stein Inn in Edgewater, Maryland. It was on our way home and it’s German, which I love even though I don’t eat meat anymore.

We walked in and the band was playing “Edelweiss” so I was instantly sold. Everyone was singing along and people were dancing, it was so festive. I ordered the käsespätzle (cheese pasta dumplings) and a bunch of other sides like red cabbage, potato pancakes and applesauce, a garden salad, and pretzels. Chris got the sauerbraten, my favorite German entree back in the day. And obviously, beer!


My precious pet managed to find his way up onto the bench with me, like he always does, and I can safely say that everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. While maybe not the best food I’ve had outside of Germany, it was solid. And the atmosphere was wunderbar. I recommend this place.


Coming Soon: A Baby for Debra!


I threw a baby shower for my friend Debra yesterday, and we had so much fun! The theme became, because of where I live, “Inner City Baby Shower.” All the photos are with my giant building in the background, it looked like a tenement. This is DC living!


Speaking of which, I did all of the shopping for flowers, food, and party favors within a mile of my apartment. Anyone who thinks you can’t entertain without going to big box stores in the burbs is wrong. In fact, it’s easier to do closer to home on city streets rather than trying to navigate highways and huge parking lots.

Trader Joe’s has beautiful flowers.

We did an icebreaker with colored notecards. Green: tell us about your first pet; Pink: tell us about your best vacation; Orange: what is your favorite dish to cook; Yellow: tell us one thing you love about Debra. I love icebreakers at parties like this, even when everyone’s met before. It’s fun to hear these little stories about each other.

For games, we did my favorite – Celebrity Moms (celebrity news is a huge guilty pleasure of mine). I listed a bunch of celebrities and everyone had to list the names of their kids. The one answer everyone got right: Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, Apple. That poor girl, she got so much backlash and she was just a baby! Little did people know, someday soon we’d be hearing celebrity baby names like North West and Pilot Inspektor. (Btw, did anyone realize Suri’s Burn Book was still a thing? God I love the internet.)

We also guessed various animals’ gestation lengths (an elephant’s is longer than a whale’s actually), and listed as many songs with the word ‘baby’ in them as we could in four minutes. I wanted games that didn’t require getting up and moving around since we were on pebbles and since we were outside, there wasn’t really any place to do games with props or that required anyone to go in the other room.


I made all the food except the candy. I had so much fun cooking, and if you know me, you know I never say that! I found a great recipe for onion dip that I really recommend. In fact, I’ll do another post later with all the recipes I used.

Congratulations to Debra and Ramin, and thank you to everyone for making it such a perfect afternoon.

Protect Yo HeART


Walking along 14th St. in DC yesterday, I noticed several tags like the one above on the sidewalks. I was intrigued, so I looked it up. It turns out it’s the work of a New York-based graffiti artist named UnCasso. Here’s what he has to say about his “UncuttART” campaign:

“Protect Yo HeART is a Quote created by UncuttART in 07… The purpose of the quote wasn’t clear at 1st, but it felt powerful… A Powerful Feeling that he wanted to share with the world.” UnCasso, Protect Yo HeART (Follow him on Tumblr)

In browsing through his Tumblr, I noticed he’s been tagging sidewalks all over the East Coast. I love street graffiti like this, and this guy seems really cool. He says he places his art at high frequencies, trying to get us all to vibe at a higher level, to do things from our heart and out of love.

Happy Friday, man.