Spotlight On: The Laughing Cow

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Easy to spread, easy to cook with, and it even looks like fun. I’ve been experimenting with these low calorie cheese triangles lately. They instantly liven up a sandwich or toast (like strawberry cream cheese with apple pie spice) and a week ago I stuck a wedge of sun-dried tomato basil mozzarella inside of a chicken breast before cooking it and it worked really well. Super tasty and a really easy way to make grilled chicken more interesting. They have a ton of flavors and recipe ideas.

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In Review: D.C.

I’ve had a lot of coffee outings the past several days and it made me think of all the coffee places I’ve visited in D.C. This small list pales in comparison to how many coffee places there are in D.C., but I feel like I’ve covered a fair amount of ground.

1) Kramer Books and Afterwords (Dupont)

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This place was cool and different (a bookstore attached to the cafe), but more of a restaurant than a place to just sit and get a cup of coffee (limited seating and no outlets). My cappuccino was really good though and their system crashed right when I was about to pay so they said it was free. Awesome.

2) Ebenezers (Union Station/Capitol Hill)

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I’ve been to this place a few times since it is right down the street from David’s apartment. Each time the cappuccinos were really good. They play nice music and there is a lot of seating, indoors and outdoors.

3) Bourbon Coffee (Foggy Bottom)

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I’ve hung out and done work here a few times since its right by David’s office. They have a lot of coffee options as well as some non-traditional baked goods. The rugelach I had was really tasty as was the coffee. A really nice place to do work, even though the internet is a little spotty.

4) Firehook (Dupont)

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I’ve been here a few times and each time something went wrong with my coffee order (wrong drink and a really burnt cappuccino). But the pastries have always been really good. Good for coffee and snacks on the go.

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5) Peregrine Espresso (Eastern Market)

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David and I went here this morning after walking around the Eastern Market farmers/flea market. I got a cappuccino and an almond croissant and David got a macchiato and a scone, it was all really good.

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6) Tryst Coffeehouse-Bar-Lounge (Adams Morgan)

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We stumbled upon this place last night while we were wandering around Adams Morgan. I loved it as soon as we walked in. It was comfortable and unique without being hipster-ish (I really don’t like ‘hipster’ places). I would definitely go back there to hang out at night again or to do work. I had a mulled apple cider and a cappuccino and David had a beer and a Hot Toddy (bourbon and tea).

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Cookies to dip in your drink are an automatic win in my book.

7) Tynan Coffee and Tea (Union Station/Capitol Hill)

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This place is super close to David’s apartment so we went to check it out one morning. The quiche was fine (a little greasy), the cappuccino was good (super creamy), the space was clean and comfortable with tables, a counter-top, and couches by some TVs, but the music was strange…they were playing Ke$ha at like 9 in the morning, which seems weird to me. Maybe they just wanted to wake us all up. We went back a second time and they played dance music again, so not a great place to relax or do work.

8) Sidamo Coffee and Tea (H Street)

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I came here in the summer with David and his parents and I really liked it. My iced latte was really creamy and delicious, but David said his coffee was incredibly acidic. I haven’t been back since then or tried anything else. Nice place; small, cultural music, good place to do some work.

9) Yola (Dupont)

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I went to Yola in the spring. It was a cool, quiet place to get some coffee and do some work. It is also a yogurt bar.

10) Bagels and Baguettes (Capitol Hill)

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David and I have been here several times. We stumbled upon it look for breakfast one morning and keep coming back because the food and coffee are good and its really affordable.  Its pretty small, but there is a nice amount of indoor and outdoor seating. Its also really fast so its good for to-go meals. Definitely one of D.C.’s hidden gems.

Of course I’ve also been to numerous Starbucks around the city, but they don’t need any reviews. Although, the one in Dupont was recently re-done and now has two stories with a ton of extra seating. It was pretty cool. Exploring different coffee places has definitely been fun, but I’m excited to get back to good old Hideaway for a creme de menthe latte and biscotti.

I dreamed a dream

I love Les Mis. Both the book and the musical are brilliant and inspiring and you can’t imagine how excited I was when David surprised me by taking me to see it last night! He told me a while ago that my Christmas gift was a surprise event rather than a thing and surprisingly I was able to resist the urge to snoop around and figure it out. I wanted it to be a surprise and, even though I had a few guesses as to what it was, I was completely shocked when we turned the corner and I saw this beautiful sign.

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There was a lot of jumping up and down, screaming, and maybe even a tear because I was so excited and this was such a thoughtful surprise. As expected, the show was amazing and it inspired me to a) be in a musical (a life-long dream), b) write an epic novel (also a life-long dream) and c) see the movie as soon as it comes out (a much more manageable feat). It comes out Christmas day and unlike other musical movies where the songs are pre-recorded, all the singing is done live and then the instrumentals are layered on after. On top of the already amazing talent in the movie, I think the live-singing is going to make it much more real and impactful.

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There I am. As soon as I get home I’m going to re-read the book. How could you not love it with writing like this?

The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

3 ingredient chocolate-banana pancakes!

Yes, only 3 ingredients and they are all healthy. I’m a big fan of recipes with minimal ingredients. I love intricate tastes, but more ingredients usually means more time and more money. This is a combination recipe of one that I found at The Skinny Confidential and Sarah Fit.

Simply mix together:

  • 2 eggs
  • A banana (the riper the better, but less-ripe ones still work even though they don’t blend as well)
  • A scoop of chocolate whey protein powder

Spray some pam on a skillet and cook like normal pancakes, flipping when they bubble. I put a small drizzle of light maple syrup on them too. The last time I’ve made these pancakes I used 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed instead of protein powder and put in a little bit of apple pie spice.

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I know this one is dark, but I thought it was cool that you could kind of see the smoke. Enjoy this super quick, protein filled breakfast!