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About Choirgirl21

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  • Birthday 01/11/1978

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    Laurel, MD

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  1. Choirgirl21

    Sunday Dinner near the Kennedy Center

    So I failed to include that this is for this Sunday. I didnt realize reservations at Rasika were difficult so that's off of our list. Any other suggestions? We are meeting 2 friends coming from VA, but I have to drive back to MD so I'm trying to avoid having to venture too far away. I was hoping to just leave my car at the Kennedy Center and walk or take a quick Lyft to dinner. A friend recommended Circa or District Commons?
  2. This has probably been asked many times before, but looking for a place for dinner on a Sunday after an afternoon performance of Hamilton. Hosting a friend who is in town. There will be 4 of us, all "foodies" with virtually no restrictions except I'd like to not totally break the bank (especially after paying for Hamilton!) and my visiting friend is a vegetarian. I was thinking about the Rasika in West End. Shameful, but I've never actually been to Rasika and I thought it would provide a lot of good vegetarian options. But, after reading recent reviews I am worried my friend, who happens to be Indian, will be unimpressed. Thoughts, or other suggestions? Thanks!
  3. Thanks for the heads up about the Parmesan Whisps, will definitely try those! I'm into the Kirkland fish sticks when I'm not prepared for dinner. They changed them recently - each stick is now thicker/bigger and the coating is nice and crispy (with the caveat that I cook them using my convection setting). There are also basil & garlic chicken meatballs that I believe are organic that I like. Those and a big bag of the Kirkland stir fry vegetables plus whatever spice blend or sauce I have on hand makes quick, healthy lunches. Also, the cave aged Cabot cheddar with the black wrapping is delicious. And I admit that the Boursin cheese spreads have become a guilty pleasure ever since I saw a coupon for the 3 pack. 😊 I still need to make time to hit the DC Costco so I can stock up on alcohol. If there are any wines that are typically available that come highly recommended, please share! A friend served a Kirkland Rioja that I enjoyed, but that was almost a year ago.
  4. Choirgirl21

    Reykjavik, and Iceland in General

    Ohhh, thank you. Laundromat Cafe doesn't open until 8 so nice to have an earlier option. ETA: So apparently The Laundromat Cafe is now Egill Jacobsen (still well reviewed).
  5. Choirgirl21

    Reykjavik, and Iceland in General

    Longshot, but does anyone have any updates or additional recs? We are going to Iceland for 4 nights in May. We will be spending one night each in (in order): -A farmhouse off the beaten path, about 30 minutes from Selfoss (would likely eat dinner in Eyrarbakki or Stokkseyri, the Airbnb listing mentions good seafood restaurants in both) -Hofn (about 15 min outside) - there's a restaurant in our hotel, but I'm thinking it may be worth splurging on langoustine in town? -Hvolsvollur -Reykjavik Our flight lands far too early the first morning (5 am) so we plan to head to Reykjavik for a bit before making our way to the farmhouse so I was thinking we could start with breakfast at Laundromat Cafe if it's still recommended and lunch will either be on the road or something quicker in Reykjavik if we haven't left town yet. We plan to stop in Selfoss for groceries for breakfasts/lunches for the remainder of the trip so mostly need dinner spots. I would prefer to only break the bank on 1 or 2 of the 4 nights (and yes I realize it's outrageously expensive in Iceland so I'm speaking relatively) and am with Porcupine on much preferring good, honest food over fine dining most of the time so Dill is honestly not on my radar. Porcupine - do you remember where you encountered that food truck, or what the name of it was? Though it's of course much less fun if we seek it out rather than stumble upon it.
  6. Choirgirl21

    Planning a trip to Spain

    You have 8-9 full days/nights in Spain in mid-May. Where do you go and what do you do? Barcelona for at least a couple of days is definitely on the agenda, but otherwise, we've been considering a lot of options, including a day trip to Morocco or a little time in nearby parts of France. We do not need to fly in/out of the same airport. We're very open to what we do. We all enjoy hiking, food, culture, art, wine so I think a balance of time exploring a major city or two (including museums, architecture, food, etc.) and some trips to smaller towns/countryside would be nice. When I was in Italy, I really enjoyed Florence and Rome, and especially loved Venice, but one of my favorite parts of the trip was our overnight in Pienza. The only other consideration is that the friends we are going with have already been to Barcelona so while they're happy to go back, spending the bulk of our time there isn't the plan. Also, I think there will be a budget for a couple of nice (ie. expensive) dinners out, but my food budget isn't what it once was even when traveling. Thanks!
  7. I have the 6 quart IP and it is smaller and lighter than my crockpot, but my crockpot has 3 inserts. I would say generally speaking they're about the same size so it's an even swap space-wise, but with much better features. If you get one, I also recommend a few accessories: -The clear glass lid for storage so you don't have to transfer food ( http://a.co/iu6aOIV ) -The silicone mitts ( http://a.co/h8X8rnh ) -The silicone steamer basket ( http://a.co/2Vlpxxj ) It comes with a metal steamer basket, but the silicone one is useful for a lot of things, especially "hard boiled" eggs. 6 minutes and you have eggs that are SO easy to peel and don't crack. Given that I eat a lot of HB eggs, the IP might have been worth it for that alone for me. For anyone considering buying one, set up a price watch for the one you want on Amazon as the price drops significantly periodically.
  8. Choirgirl21


    Great timing on this post. A group of friends host food "paloozas" routinely with some theme, typically meat based. Last weekend was porkapalooza. What began as a joke about someone bringing scrapple ended up in a quite delicious scrapple dish. Said friend made what I would essentially describe as bruschetta with seared scrapple on it (seared scrapple on a crostini with a topping of cherry tomatoes, evoo, vinegar, and garlic). It came from the idea of the ketchup/scrapple pairing, which I had actually never heard of either, but I also didn't grow up in this area so scrapple was completely foreign to me until I moved here.
  9. Do you have a slow cooker? If so, replace it with an IP. Results from a pressure cooker are SO much better and if you want to slow cook something the IP has that feature. Can't post now, but wanted to mark the thread so I can come back. Always looking for new ideas, especially paleo ones. Has anyone made yogurt with goat's milk? Hoping to try to soon to see if it will be more cost effective than the $7 container at Whole Foods.
  10. Choirgirl21

    Dining in Bowie

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a late brunch/early lunch spot in or near Bowie for tomorrow? Meeting a friend who is traveling from her hotel in Dupont to Crownsville and thought Bowie might be a convenient spot to meet (I live in Laurel). Trying to avoid her having to do much traveling off the highway while not having to drive super far myself. Appreciate any suggestions. ETA: If I can't come up with anything better I see there's a First Watch right off of 50. Not exactly fine dining, but I could live with that.
  11. Choirgirl21

    Looking for a New Winery in Northern Virginia

    I prefer Glen Manor to Linden. Glen Manor also definitely meets your criteria for a nice quiet location. It's been a long time since I've been, but I have also really enjoyed Chester Gap in the past. I used to call Linden/Glen Manor/Chester Gap the Front Royal trifecta. http://www.chestergapcellars.com/index.html
  12. Choirgirl21

    Mid-Century Modern Furniture

    Oh my, the D-shaped sofa, gorgeous. Thank you. This is close to my office so I can check this place out on a week day. I can see adding many visits into my rotation in addition to my Restore trips. I see a set of walnut side tables I'm already in love with. Thank you both!
  13. Choirgirl21

    Mid-Century Modern Furniture

    Any feedback on local MCM stores? I've been following some non-local stores on FB and have found some good pieces at my local ReStore, but I'd like to make a day of visiting some shops that specialize in good quality MCM furniture. I've googled, but personal feedback is always ideal. I hope I have this in the right spot. Thanks!
  14. I had brunch at Marcel's today. Service was superb as always. I only ate two dishes. The first was a butternut squash soup with a nut oil (I think walnut, possibly pecan) and crispy shallots. The soup was tasty, though there was one burnt shallot, but I found the one clump of parsley in the center a bit odd. My entree was a red snapper over lobster risotto with peas. The risotto was very good. I found the fish pretty overcooked (I had difficulty cutting it with a knife) which was a disappointment and some of the lobster was on the edge. The plates were hot. I can't imagine food sat in the window, and assumed they warmed their places, but I don't know. For a place like Marcel's, I expect the fish to be perfect so that was a disappointment. I enjoyed the rest of the dish though, especially a sprinkling of what I think was basil throughout. I didn't order dessert, but both of my friends seemed to really enjoy the chocolate mousse desert. Not surprisingly they heard we were celebrating two birthdays so my friend's mousse came with a candle and they brought me a dish with 2 macarons and 2 candies (both quite good). Happy birthday was written on both. Overall I enjoyed it, but I don't feel the cooking, at least based on the 2 dishes I had was at the caliber it usually is. Bonus, bottles of wine are half price for brunch so we enjoyed a bottle of champagne we wouldn't have been able to otherwise.
  15. Choirgirl21

    Kirkland Coffee - Costco's Store Brand of Beans

    Thanks, this is great to know. I like the coffee well enough to keep it, but I'm also testing out a more cost effective shampoo that I'm on the fence about so good to know they will take back opened products. I wouldn't have thought that. I also intend to try the Columbian at some point and may find it hideous, who knows. After drinking the Guatemalan for a bit, I will say one thing I appreciate is that it packs quite a punch. I thought darker roasts tended to have less caffeine, but perhaps that's a myth I heard somewhere. Regardless, this one certainly gives me some pep in my step so while it's not as good as my Blue Bottle coffee, for the cost and the caffeine kick I can see keeping it in my rotation. Thanks. I will check out some of these articles. It was actually the post from the Frugalwoods blog that inspired me to start this thread and ultimately try the Kirkland coffee. They've inspired a new level of frugality in me in general. I'm already good at saving quite a lot (in the process of looking to upgrade my condo to a single family home), but what I hadn't considered was where I could be saving money on things like toothpaste, shampoo, and coffee where I thought it was worth paying for the brand I prefer when it may not be, or may not be worth the price difference. And I am lucky in the sense that I have Costcos within 15-20 minutes of me in either direction, with one of those being about 10 minutes from my office though those Costcos do not sadly sell alcohol. I recently had a Kirkland Rioja that I thought was quite pleasant for the price so I see a trip to DC in my future to stock up on liquor/wine. Thanks! I rarely go to Giant, but if I happen to I will keep an eye out.