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Posted on Sep 18, 2012 in Food | 13 comments

Frederick

Alas, the title of this post is not an homage to any of the great literary or historical Fredericks that have existed (Douglass, the Great, etc, etc), but rather a descriptor of where I spent a large portion of my Sunday!

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I headed up to Frederick, MD to spend time with the wonderful Lauren (who blogs at Oatmeal After Spinning if you’ve never checked it out. You should!). Frederick is a little less than an hour NW of where I live. Lauren was having a couple of friends over for a cookout and generously allowed me to crash their good times with my awkwardness, hehe. I dragged Sean and Daxter along for good measure.


Picture pilfered from Lauren

In order to prove that I’m not a total mooch, I brought over a couple of dishes for people to share. First up was my regular party contribution: Mango Guacamole. This time around it was more guac than mango, as there was exactly ONE mango in all of Safeway that seemed ripe enough to even consider eating, but it was still proclaimed “the best guac I’ve ever had” by Lauren’s friend Ken, so I think it worked out okay.

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And the second thing I brought was more of an experiment. It was a blue cheese cabbage slaw recipe by the grillmaster himself, Bobby Flay.

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I thought it was good because I love blue cheese, but the flavor is strong so a little goes a long way. I still have a big tub of it leftover in my fridge!

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Lauren’s friends Terri & Ken made a delicious quinoa salad and this awesome spicy roasted eggplant that I failed to photograph (was too busy inhaling it, I suppose). All of these were sides set to accompany the main event, of course, which was made up of grass-fed burgers that were AWESOME.

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Also, there was salad. Because we’re like, healthy living bloggers or something, I guess. 😉

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But more importantly, there was beer.

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Delicious pumpkin-y beer that we all got to share (and then I also had a Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale in addition). I’m really coming around to beer! I think that makes Sean happy. Of course, my idea of beer and his idea of beer is still slightly different…

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While we ate, we made sure to keep the canine fiends off our plates. Lauren’s golden retrievers, Jackson and Lance, are beaaaautiful dogs but they are HUGE in comparison to little Daxter!

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Jackson and Daxter got along pretty well, and it was really cute to see them playing, but I think Lance might have preferred to eat Daxter instead of the burgers, hehehe. 😉


Pic from Lauren, because evidently I can’t even be bothered to take a picture of my own dog.

For dessert, Lauren had made up a crockpot dish of apples, cinnamon, and squash! The squash was a surprisingly delicious addition. It gave the concoction some body without changing up the flavors too much, which was really nice.

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It was served over vanilla ice cream, OBVI. (Sean and I shared this bowl.) In between courses, we also played corn hole, which I remain TERRIBLE at. Luckily, Lauren is kind of incredible at it, so the game I participated in was nice and short. The worst thing about corn hole is how when all four players are really bad, the games can last FOREVER. Of course, when you have SOMEONE scoring 3-pointers every round, it goes by pretty quick. Seriously, if you ever end up tailgating with Lauren, make sure she is on YOUR team.


Pic from Lauren

Lauren’s dogs really lived up to their name as “retriever” as they kept trying to catch/steal the bean bags too. It was super adorable. Daxter, however, gave the game a wide berth since at a BBQ earlier this summer, he was beaned (literally) in the face with one. I don’t think he’s such a fan anymore, hahaha.

Clearly, it was an awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon (the weather was glorious!), and definitely worth the drive into no-man’s-land, hehe. I can’t wait until next time we get to meet up! I really want to/need to plan another DC bloggers meetup. It’s been way too long since we’ve had the opportunity to prove to each other that we exist in real life, and I’ve halfheartedly talked about planning one with a few people but have been bad at following through. If there’s interest with any of you local folks, be sure to let me know!

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Posted on Jul 4, 2011 in Dear Diary, Pup Posts | 8 comments

Family Fourth

Hi everybody! I know that today I’ve already reported on hitting up the farmer’s market and going to Wolf Trap with Jennifer and Amanda, respectively, but I’m back to pick up where I left off and shove more self-indulgent pictures of my life in your face. You are welcome. 🙂

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Sunday afternoon centered around a family trip to the dog park!

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What with my sister’s new puppy down to visit, we decided it was time to introduce him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly ideal considering it was about a billion degrees outside, and Oreo seemed a little intimidated by all the wide open space at first.

Shady Pup

He spent the first 15 minutes parked under the same tree until Jenny had to physically carry him over to the rest of us, haha!

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He warmed up to the experience in no time though:

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And it wasn’t long ’til he was officially part of the pack:

Order of the Pack

While we were there by ourselves for a chunk of our visit, we did have some fun visitors come by to play.

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I can’t imagine how hot it was for Harry’s water buddy under all that fur!

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When this biker came up to the gate, I thought he was just riding by to check out the dogs. I had no idea he had a tiny Yorkie hidden in his bicycle basket! If only Daxter were a few inches shorter… sigh. 😉

Little Man

It really was unbearably hot though. The dogs kept going back and forth between playing and poopin’ out. At least they were nice and tired by the time we got home!

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A really fun way to kill an hour or so in the afternoon though, and it certainly worked up our appetites for our big backyard cookout! Grilling was performed in between thunderstorms, hehe.

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There was SO much food – steak, hot dogs (cooked flat-top style, mmm!), grilled veggies, pork, and corn! Fruit & cupcakes for dessert, too, hehe. Oh, and I discovered the most amazing way of grilling corn! I gotta remember to share it with you all soon – you will die of blissful deliciousness.

Hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend! We celebrated the actual Fourth today with more family hanging out and attending a cookout at Amanda‘s, and I prepared my fantabulous Mango Guacamole (which was a hit!) Recipe is coming tomorrow, don’t worry, along with what is sure to be a catastrophic weigh-in after all the holiday eating, hehe. Worth it!

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