Historic Mount Vernon invites visitors to sip wine while watching the sunset on George Washington’s home! Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon, an event over Memorial Day weekend (May 25 – 26), offers a rare opportunity to visit Mount Vernon after the daytime crowds have departed. Visitors may take evening tours of the Mansion, relax and enjoy wine and desserts available for purchase on the
lawn overlooking the Potomac River.
Delight in 18th-century music, dancing, games, and wagon rides. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and immerse yourself in the 18th century as the sun sets on the plantation with costumed residents like the charming Lady Washington. This family-friendly event celebrates the beginning of summer on the plantation.
Tickets are $18, adults; $12, children ages 6-11; and free for five and under. This event requires a separate ticket from daytime admission. Annual passes are not valid for this event. All activities, with the exception of food and wine, are included with admission to this event. Tickets may be purchased online in advance at MountVernon.org or at the Ford Orientation Center ticket window until
8:00 p.m. the evening of the event. Guests must be prepared to show identification to purchase wine.
Tickets can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/126pxez
Chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay introduces his first restaurant in Virginia with the opening of Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP) in Woodbridge, VA, the 15th BBP location nationwide. Located adjacent to Potomac Mills—a Simon Mall—BBP offers an assortment of burgers inspired by Bobby’s extensive travels throughout America and his love of the grill in a casual and convenient setting.
“At any time of year, my favorite thing to eat is a cheeseburger,” says Bobby. “And at BBP, I celebrate America’s variety of flavors, styles and cultures surrounding this classic staple, offering a selection of specialty burgers, served at a great price. I’m very excited to open the first BBP in Virginia and be able to share this with the Woodbridge community.”
Each BBP burger is Bobby’s tribute to America’s regional flavors and traditions, made with only premium-quality ingredients and condiments. Cooked to order, patrons can choose from 10 signature burgers such as the Philadelphia Burger with Provolone cheese, griddled onions and hot peppers; the Buffalo Style Burger with red hot sauce, blue cheese dressing and watercress; the Dallas Burger spice crusted with coleslaw, Monterey Jack, BBQ sauce, and pickles; the Santa Fe Burger with queso sauce, pickled jalapeños, and blue corn chips; and the Palace Classic Burger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion – are all served on a sesame seed bun. Also offered is a BBP Burger of the Month, which in May will be Stephanie’s All-American Burger with American cheese, yellow mustard, pickled jalapenos and shredded lettuce. All burgers may be prepared with Certified Angus Beef or ground turkey, and a grilled chicken breast option is also available.
INSIDER DINING AT BBP When dining at the BBP, Bobby reminds you to get your burger crunchified, which means topping any BBP burger with crisp chips at no additional cost. Crunchified selections include the Crunchburger® with double American cheese and potato chips and the Crunch Salad with chopped vegetables, romaine, crispy tortillas, white cheddar cheese cubes and balsamic dressing.
I have a lot of things to say in this post - so just one title doesn't seem to do it justice.
Last weekend, I was quite envious of one of my neighbors' smoked chicken BBQ. So my other neighbor, Justin, and I decided we'd try our own luck at smoking some proteins since we're both pretty enamored by food.
We made smoked chicken drumsticks, beef brisket, and a pork shoulder. I had the chicken drumsticks in a brine overnight. I gave all three meats a generous coating of the Pork Barrell BBQ Dry Rub
that I found at Costco.
I have never actually brined anything myself. Hell, I've never even cooked meat with a bone in it until Saturday's drumsticks. I googled every single recipe for the "best chicken brine" ever - and I couldn't quite figure out what would work for me. So what did I do? Made it up, of course.
What you'll need:
1 gallon cold water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
10 gallon ziploc bag
1. Whisk salt and sugar into water until it starts to dissolve.
2. Pour brine into ziploc bag. I also added a good helping of my dry rub into the bag.
3. Add chicken (I always rinse my chicken first before cooking - you don't need to wash the chicken with soap as seen on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2
).4. Leave in brine overnight - or at least a minimum of 2 hours.
After letting the chicken smoke for 2.5 hours, it was the most tender, juicy, flavorful deliciousness that I've ever made. The skin gets kinda rubbery in the smoker, so we dipped them in the deep fryer for 3 minutes afterwards. PERFECTION.
I seriously don't know why I don't brine every time I cook chicken - it made a world of difference.
Check out the final product:
And here's the BBQ Beef Brisket after 8 hours in the smoker:
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the finished pork shoulder. It took about 12 hours - and by the time it was done - I had enjoyed a few drinks with the neighbors and forgot about taking pics.
If you have any great BBQ recipes, tips, or tricks - please share in the comments below!
Foodies and Food Network fans have a chance to meet and eat with New York City restaurateur, author and television personality Donatella Arpaia at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town on Sunday, May 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The event begins on the H Lounge Stage, where Donatella will speak about her journey to becoming a chef, give recipe tips and answer questions. Attendees can enter their names in a raffle for a chance to win one of 10 Donatella Cooks cookbooks.
Following the presentation, guests will be invited to the Skybox Sports Bar to mingle with Donatella and purchase appetizers from Donatella Cooks prepared by the Chefs at Hollywood Casino. Selections include cucumber soup with crab, yogurt and dill shooter, and Mama’s meatballs. Guests who order one of the featured appetizers will receive a recipe card to be signed by Donatella.
The talk is free and open to the public, however guests must pay for food selections.
Donatella is one of the most influential women in the world of food, business and entertaining. The New York Post named her one of the “most powerful women” in Manhattan, and Zagat called her “hostess with the mostest.”
The restaurateur opened her first New York City restaurant Bellini, inspired by her childhood summers spent in Italy with family and food, in 1998. She soon opened three more highly acclaimed restaurants including Donatella, DBar and Kefi.
Donatella is also well known as a head judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Next Iron Chef. She is featured as a regular contributor on the Today Show. In 2010, Donatella penned Donatella Cooks, a guide to cooking and entertaining with flair.
About Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
A Penn National gaming property, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is a world-class resort destination, offering visitors a truly Las Vegas-style gaming experience that includes 3,200 slot machines, more than 100 table games, a 50-table poker room, and both live and simulcast horse racing year round. A wide range of quality restaurants and bars are offered, including authentic Hong Kong cuisine and sushi at 9 Dragons, a 350-seat Epic Buffet, and Final Cut Steakhouse – proud recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The casino also offers an exciting nightlife experience including free concerts and entertainment at the H Lounge. On Fridays, the H Lounge transforms into Boogie Nights, the ultimate 70’s and 80’s dance party. Conveniently located about a one-hour drive from the Baltimore and DC beltways, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is one of the region’s fastest growing gaming and entertainment destinations with more than four million visitors each year.
This is the smile of a child who just spent $10 on sugar.
In all honesty, I had not set my expectations very high for Mother's Day this year. We have had SO much going on in the past month with B having his tonsils out, complications of the surgery, and the semester of grad school coming to a close.
In order to not
set myself up for an emotional roller coaster, I have learned (it took me about 6 years to figure this out) that sometimes it is better to have no expectations at all and be completely thrilled than to have expectations set high and be let down. This crazy method of thinking worked in my favor yesterday as my lovebunnie surpised me with a day out in DC!
We landed the best seats at Nationals Park - on the second deck but right over the first base line. B brought money from his piggy bank to buy the world's most expensive cotton candy - and I was pleased to find a Blue Moon in my hand :)
After the game, we went to Guapo's in Shirlington
for a light dinner and pitcher of Sangria on the patio. My girlfriend, Anita, lives right around the corner in Fairlington and swung by to hang out with us in the beautiful breeze.
I am so so so lucky & thankful. BEST. DAY. EVER.
I just realized that we're only two weeks away from our neighborhood pool opening this season and I panicked with fear just thinking about getting into my swimsuit! #SuburbanPeopleProblems.
So, today, I met with my friend, John Casto of Action Fitness. With a spinach shake in hand, John talked me into actually committing to a goal. I took the plunge and signed up for personal training and his Women's Only Fitness Bootcamp starting on Monday (OH NO!). I figure by posting here that you, my lovely/supportive/encouraging readers, will keep me accountable for at least the first month. My goal is to lose 5lbs in one month - totally doable, right?
I was thinking - since I'm going to be doing this challenge, wouldn't some of you like to do it with me?! Please! We can even go for margaritas after bootcamp :) I threw this idea at John and he said he'd extend ALL OF MY READERS a FREE ONE MONTH TRIAL for the Women's Only Fitness Bootcamp in Fairfax! WOO HOO!
Plus, FIVE WINNERS will receive a FREE personal training session to get you started. How fantastic is that? It will be way more fun if we do it together!
I am so excited to be hosting the Summer Block Party at South Moon Under at the new Mosaic District store on May 16! We hosted a Summer Block Party last year at the Reston Town Center store
and it was a BLAST! If you've never been - make sure you arrive early - South Moon Under will be giving away SWAG BAGS to the first 50 guests in line. Hope to see you all there! xo
If you are a member of the press/editor/blogger and you'd like to attend - let me know so that we can get a swag bag set aside for you! Numbers are limited! email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, we had a block of window that was perfect for mommy & B time. Since we had just gone through some pretty rough days post-op and he was finally starting to feel better, I decided to take him somewhere fun for a lunch date. We had been once before and B loved the boats - so we picked Water's Edge in Occoquan
Yes, it looks like you're driving through a construction site to get there, and yes it's a total dive bar with funky interior dining area - but the two story deck, the fresh breeze, the boats, the water - total perfection.
The food is not the finest dining, but you can't go wrong with a chicken quesadilla and a shirley temple.
It's a fun spot if you're looking for somewhere casual to hang in the breeze. We sat on the deck with Harley riders, hungover college kids, and an older boat-loving couple who were already rocking white pants pre-memorial day. Mixed bag, for sure... but if you don't care, neither do they :)
ps: they have happy hour from 12noon-7pm every weekday.
Guest post by Elyssa Rae
By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Partners in Preservation
- American Express
and the National Trust for Historic Preservation
’s program to spotlight local historic gems and give away $1m to 24 historic sites in the greater DC area,
which launched last week. If you have had a chance to vote yet, check out the site and make your voice heard – Mount Vernon
is looking to knock top-seeded National Cathedral
out of first place. It’s also important to support the smaller gems, like Colvin Run Mill
and LAMB @ Military Road School
, and help them gain awareness.
In addition to supporting the sites, you also help yourself each time you vote. Marriott is offering 10 FREE three night stays
in (almost) ANY of their hotels around the world. The more you vote, the better your chances
. More details here: https://www.preservedmv.com/getinvolved This weekend is open house weekend
. Each site will be doing something special – free admission, behind the scenes tours, food, performance, etc . Out of all of the activities I’ve seen so far, Congressional Cemetery is my favorite – they’re having an all-day scavenger hunt, wine and cheese, performances, tours and a spaghetti sauce judging contest. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to taste spaghetti sauce and drink wine in a cemetery while watching performances and people walk their cute puppies?!