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Happy Wine Wednesday friends! This is a little later than my usual Wine Wednesday posts, but I’ve had a busy day of work and gym time (need to get serious about training for my upcoming half marathon).

Today’s pick is a delicious Viognier from Tarara Winery in Leesburg, VA. Gotta love those Virginia wines! I’ve actually been to Tarara before, and it was a great experience. If you need a good winery to visit this weekend, it’s a winner.

Anyways, once a month I get together with a group of girls to play bunco! We eat, drink and roll some dice. Before heading over to Jessie’s apartment, I went with Lauren and Elizabeth to Veritas Wine Bar across the street from the office. Their happy hour is 20% off any bottle, so we chose the 2010 Tarara Winery Viognier.

It was a great bottle and so nice and cold. (And 20% doesn’t hurt either)

Since we had some time to kill before bunco night, we ordered a cheese and charcuterie plate. Two choices of meat and three cheeses, along with some crackers, mustard and cornichons. We had sopressata and prosciutto, along with a few cheese whose names I forget. The marbled one there are the bottom was marbled in Guinness!

It was a nice snack, especially with the wine, but clearly we needed a little more sustenance to get us through the night. Thankfully, Jessie had lots of delightful treats for us at her house!

Delicious mac and cheese bites, ham and swiss biscuits, cupcakes, and multiple bottles of wine. After filling ourselves with yummy treats, we let the dice rolling begin. Bunco might sound like an old ladies game, but let me tell you, we always have a blast!

Enjoy a glass of wine and get your dice on! Cheers!

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chicken stroganoff

Happy Friday the 13th friends! Yesterday for lunch (and then for dinner as leftovers), I made chicken stroganoff. I got this recipe inspiration simply from the fact that I absolutely loooove beef stroganoff: the classic stuff with sour cream and egg noodles. It seriously is just so comforting and delicious. When I make beef stroganoff, I sometimes ending up using some ground turkey to lighten it up a bit. But this time I decided to go even “healthier” with chicken and yogurt to replace the sour cream.

If I were to make this again, I think I would have to go with the sour cream. The yogurt just didn’t add the same creaminess and tang that sour cream does. I did enjoy the fact that there were lots of vegetables in this dish, with the addition of onions and green pepper, when I would traditionally would just use mushrooms.

Chicken Stroganoff

Time: about an hour, serves 4-6

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute onions until tender. Add green pepper, mushrooms, 1/a tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and continue cooking until mushrooms release their liquid. Remove veggies and place in a colander; reserving the liquid in a bowl underneath.

Return pan to heat and add the other tbsp of olive oil. Season the chicken with the remaining salt and pepper. Cook the chicken in batches until cooked through. Remove from pan and add to the vegetable bowl.

Turn burner on high and add wine, chicken broth, and the reserved vegetable liquid to the pan to deglaze. Make sure to scrape all of the good bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and whisk in the BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, and hot sauce. Let reduce by about half. Reduce heat and whisk in yogurt or sour cream making sure to not let it boil. Return vegetables and chicken to the pan to heat through. Serve over rice or pasta.

Adapted from Real Simple.

For those that have MLK Day off, I was doing a little reading into the holiday, and learned that it’s a Day of Service.  Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing for others?’ ”

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that all of our holidays actually have meaning. Monday should provide a chance to make a change, however big or small. For some ideas on how to make a change visit the MLK Day site.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

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A few days ago, I went with my sisters to an LYO alumni Christmas get together. It’s always so great to see old friends in town for the holidays! It was a tacky sweater theme and we did a white elephant swap with silly little gifts we all brought; it was actually pretty hilarious.

Something just as hilarious was in the front lawn of a house in the neighborhood where we were. They had, from what we could see, at least 20 inflatable Christmas decorations in their front lawn. It was just craziness!

Last night as part of our Christmas together, Cainon took me to see the Washington Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre downtown. I hadn’t seen the ballet, or any ballet, in so long. It was a great way to celebrate, I’ve always loved all of the music and the dancing was beautiful.

Afterwards, we went to dinner at Zaytinya, where neither of us had been before. It was so yummy. I need to make some of my own Htipiti soon; it’s a Greek feta dip; theirs was amazing!

Happy Holidays!!

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After work on Friday I went with four lovely friends to see the National Christmas Tree! It was a little underwhelming but still fun to see. We stopped at Chef Geoff’s to wait for a drink at happy hour. It’s pretty great.

On our way over to the mall, we stopped for a few photos near The Willard. Woohoo!

We stopped to have a couple take a group photo of us (which I don’t have), & then we returned the favor. For some reason, I love this photo:

Hooray National Christmas Tree!

Yes, this ornament was on Vermont’s state tree, but I couldn’t help myself! GO HOKIES!

Washington Monument & mini state trees.

& on the other side, the White House.

The big bonfire to warm ourselves up.

And then we stopped in Santa’s workshop to say hi and ask for lots of presents since we all have been very good this year:

Merry Christmas!

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After a long trip away from home, I had a few lovely adventures this week with a few awesome people.

Monday at work started off with christening my new San Fran mug with a cup of Earl Grey, my fave tea.

I love this mug. So simple. And big.

There was a much-needed catch up session over a few happy hour drinks and appetizers at James Hoban’s. Some beer, wine, chicken fingers, wings, fries. We’re very health conscious.

Not all of the food trucks in DC enjoy coming to Dupont Circle for some reason. So when they do, it’s a big deal! Red Hook Lobster Truck decided to stop by our little corner of the city on Wednesday, so a hot cup of clam chowdah and a lobster roll were in order for lunch. The soup is a seasonal item and it was super delicious. The portion was huge! I also decided to get the Connecticut style roll–lobster poached in butter. Indulgent and awesome.

Thursday’s lunch was spent at Whole Foods with my little sister, Emily, who is home from school for winter break! The Whole Foods by our house was just renovated and has all of the yummy hot and cold food bars now! I got a mix of a lot of different things: chicken fajita, tabbouleh, orzo with spinach, a meatball, Greek chicken salad, and some mac and cheese. Lots of carbs. Whoops. And a Steaz peach iced tea! I love those things.

And now it’s finally Friday! After work today, we’re headed to see the National Christmas Tree and get some food and drinks at Chef Geoff’s and assorted other establishments. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

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a sailing story

Time to tell a story of a sailing trip. Months and months ago, two friends and I bought an online voucher for a three-hour sunset cruise on the Potomac River through DC Sail. After failing the entire summer to coordinate schedule and book the cruise, we finally booked for a weekend in October.

The day before that cruise, the captain had a family emergency and all of the backup captains weren’t available. So, plans foiled again, we were rescheduled for the following weekend.

The cruise was BYOB, so we picked up some wine, cheeses, bread, and other assorted snacks. We waited on the dock with a group of other people booked on the cruise. And killed some time with the fake helm on the dock.

After standing around for a while, we were informed that the engine was broken and there would be no sailing that night. That weekend turned out to be the last weekend for cruises of the year.

Instead of heading all the way back home with our bags of food and drink, we decided to wander down the Southwest waterfront and find somewhere to sit and eat.

We ended up finding a nice spot with tables and chairs overlooking the water. Cracked open the wine and spread some pimento cheese on bread. Really nothing better than that.

We watched a bunch of people climb up the mast of a big ship and tie up the sail. It was facsinating to watch them up there just standing on a rope folding this thing.

We had a great time sitting, talking, eating and drinking while the sunset. The night ended up being rather cold, so in the end we were glad we didn’t have another hour out on the chilly water.

So I guess sometime next spring there will actually be a sailing story to share.

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a place to start

Everyone “wants to write” and “wants to start a blog” and apparently the favorite fact about contestants on the bachelor and bachelorette is that they “love to travel.”

Because I just want to be cool like everyone else, I decided to start this little blog. I have made pretty lame attempts before, but nothing really stuck. There are a few things about me and my daily life that I could write about.

It could be about food and cooking and wine. Because I love all those things and indulge in them on the daily.

It could be about Virginia Tech and being a Hokie. Because that is also something I clearly need another outlet for in addition to plastering my cubicle, car,  self, and twitter feed with all things Maroon and Orange; yes, they are proper nouns.

It could be about doing super fun awesome things in DC. Although, due to the fact that I live here, everything I do is automatically a super fun awesome thing in DC (& the surrounding area, since I actually live in Virginia). DC residents have a silly habit of getting all peeved when people claim to be from DC when they dont actually live in the District itself. Trust me, I used to be one of them.

It could also be about the effect that Lupus has had on my life. I was diagnosed on my 22nd birthday coincidentally. As a quick and friendly overview, Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage just about any part of the body. For something to be chronic it has to lasts over an extended period of time, and perhaps forever. I chose Chronic as one half of the title of this blog, since it encompasses a little something about me (the fact that I have a chronic illness) and a little something about what will hopefully be this whole blogging journey: it’s continuous.

I guess I have to start somewhere,  right?

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