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Fall in DC

This past weekend I was in Washington, DC with my family for my sister’s birthday. It was the perfect fall weekend, with sunshine, delicious food, discovering new neighborhoods and quality family time. We walked almost everywhere and I was able to see the city in a new way. The stunning weather and the changing seasons made for such a beautiful weekend. Here’s some of what I saw:IMG_0019We don’t get changing seasons in San Francisco so it was a nice reminder to see these crunchy brown leaves.

IMG_7309We were in the U Street neighborhood a lot and I loved the brownstones and the lush trees.

IMG_7307After coffee at Bakehouse, we ran into the U Street Farmers Market for Salted Caramel Apple Pie and a quick ogle at these pretty greens.IMG_7316For a sugar break, we stopped into Olivia Macaron in Georgetown. I loved the pistachio but the chocolate was the winner.IMG_7320Hi Washington Monument! You look good. (See what I meant about the gorgeous weather?)IMG_7325After a long morning of sights and bike-riding, we had a late lunch at Sakuramen in Adams Morgan. The highlight were the mushroom buns above. IMG_7342Our last brunch was at Union Market, an artisinal market with delicious food and goods.IMG_7344On the roof of Bidwell where we ate, we toured the aeroponic garden where they grow their own organic vegetables. IMG_7345An up-close shot of their Japanese eggplant.IMG_7343In the market was Salt & Sundry, an adorable home store with an global, hand-crafted feel. I wanted everything!

Come over for dinner – kabocha squash farro salad

FullSizeRender(2)I am scared of gourds. I am scared of how hard they are to cut, how to cook them properly and their overall mass just terrifies me. Yet it’s October so I thought I would face my fear head on and buy a damn kabocha squash from the Fort Mason Farmers Market. How did it go? Well…

FullSizeRender(1)Pretty well! I kept it easy and roasted the squash in the oven then tossed it in a farro salad. Here’s what I did:

1. Cut the kabocha squash into 1 inch thick wedges. Add salt, pepper, cumin and olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Let cool.

2. At the same time, cook 1 cup of farro on the stove top and let boil for 10 minutes. While they cooked, I chopped up tomatoes, chives, basil and shredded 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. I also made the vinaigrette (1 tbsp. dijon mustard, 1/3 cup sherry vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, salt, pepper).

3. After the farro is done, I put in the tomatoes, chives, basil, cheese, 1 cup of arugula and dressing and tossed all together. I then cut the cooled squash into 1 inch bite size pieces and mixed. Delicious! I’m looking forward to tackling more squash recipes this fall. I’m thinking a pumpkin cookie is in my future. Happy Autumn!

-Nikki