Friday Night Delights // No. 2

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When I was stocking up at the grocery store for the snow last week, I picked up a couple of gorgeous pomegranates to snack on. These fruits, to me, are one of the most extraordinary. When you cut one open, the fruit reveals the most exquisite array of sparkling ruby-red seeds. It’s like opening a sack of gems. Mother Nature is so good to us, eh? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, get your paws on a pomegranate and do your own science experiment. I promise the result is delightful!

This weekend I’ll be headed down south to the land of the pines. Tonight is my last night in D.C., and I’m not sure yet what I’ll get into. I’ve had an awesome time catching up with old friends and making new ones, as well as freelancing from a new office for a change, which included lots of hanging out with my brother’s cats. (I’ll share some pictures from my trip next week.) But after two weeks of being away, it will be nice to be home again and really get going with whatever 2014 has in store for me… Anyway, hope you have a great weekend! // susannah

See the recipe after the jump…

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Fluffy Golden Waffles

fluffy-golden-waffles

Who wants breakfast for dinner? Me! Me! Me! Because you can have the best meal of the day twice! Well, I guess it’s second only to brunch. Sadly, I have dinner plans tonight, and since I’m away from home, I have limited resources here, so I’m reposting a recipe from my old, failed cooking blog.

I made these waffles during a huge snowstorm last winter, and they’ve been a weekend morning favorite of mine ever since. All this cold weather we’re having reminds me of that day and the wealth of comfort and warmth a good breakfast can bring, so I’m glad I can share it again. // Susannah

See the recipe after the jump…

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Kitchen Road Trip: Washington, D.C.

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Traveling has always inspired me. As a kid, I was very fortunate that my parents could afford to take my siblings and me on vacations from time to time. Some were by plane and some were by train, but my favorites were the road trips. There’s nothing quite like arguing with your brother and sister in the back of the family minivan about which “The Lion King” song to play next, am I right? (The answer is “Hakuna Matata,” every time. And on cassette tape, no less!)

To me, the kitchen is the best place to bring back those kinds of memories, and to create new ones too. A little comfort food can go a long way if you’re feeling nostalgic for someplace special or craving an expedition to somewhere new. Until you can travel again, I also recommend surrounding yourself with things that remind you of that time or place. So, each Monday, I’m going to pick a state and list a handful of food- and kitchen-related items that are from or reminiscent of that state. As often as I can, I will highlight local products and designers. One state a week for the rest of the year should take us right up to 2015. Starting next week, I’m going to tackle the states alphabetically, as that allows for a bit more diversity than going by history or regions. Feel free to send me any recommendations for design or food-related products from any state in the Union! 

First up is Washington, D.C., for two reasons. One, that’s where I am right now! Two, it seemed like a good place to begin this series, what with it being the nation’s capital and all. Whether you’re suffering from D.C. wanderlust, homesickness or political worry, these goods should tide you over until at least the next election. Many thanks to my friends Mollie and Greg for their recommendations! // susannah 

See the list after the jump…

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Friday Night Delights // No. 1

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Note: As I begin this blog, I’ll be toying around with different kinds of posts. For now, Friday Night Delights will be a column about drinks and cocktails to enjoy on the weekend. The name is spin on that of one of my favorite TV shows, NBC’s Friday Night Lights. The show is centered around a small, fictional town in Texas where everyone spends their Friday nights watching high school football. If you’re turning up your nose at the word ‘football’… Please. My dad is still trying to teach me what a ‘touchback’ is. So, watch it! It’s shot beautifully, and the story will reel you in straight away. Anyway, my favorite Friday nights are usually spent drinking cocktails with friends — not watching high school football — so that’s what I’ll aim to do here each week. 

Thanks to Winter Storm Hercules, we got four inches of snow in Washington, D.C. last night, and I hear the New England states got it way worse. However, nothing will get a Southern girl’s hopes up like the prospect of a few snowflakes. (Usually, my heart is broken into a million pieces when the snowstorm somehow swings north and only sends me freezing rain.) But this time, the weather came through for me! Yesterday, we watched snowflakes float down and stick (!) to the ground beginning in the early afternoon. I might have been the only person in the D.C. metro area who was remotely excited about it, but my inner North Carolinian will forever find joy in this lovely white stuff. I woke up this morning to a lovely, serene blanket of soft, white snow. Thankfully, my family was able to get on their way back to North Carolina this morning, but I am staying here for another week to house-sit. Luckily for me, I have a few friends who happen to be visiting D.C. this weekend too, so I have some exciting, snowy adventures ahead of me! It’s supposed to be very cold — for a Southerner, anyway — so I’ll be sure to warm up with one of these cocktails tonight. It’s one of my go-to drinks this time of year! (And all year, let’s be real.) // susannah

See the list after the jump…

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New Beginnings

Julia Child's kitchen on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Julia Child’s kitchen on display at the American Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Hello there! I’m back to blogging, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. For years, I’ve been looking for a way to marry my passion for design, photography and writing with my loves of travel, music, reading and food, and it dawned on me some time ago that I needed to start doing something about it. I dragged my feet about beginning yet another blog, but I’ve decided to give it another go, with lots more thought put into it this time. So, meet Feast & West, a place where I’m going to write about those things! I hope to bring in some contributors eventually, but for now, it’s just me. And that’s just fine.

I’m visiting family in Washington, D.C. at the moment, and today we visited the National Museum of American History, one of my all-time favorite museums. I visited the museum for the first time in the summer of 2009 when I was studying and interning in D.C. One of my friends patiently explored it with me while I hobbled around on a swollen, sprained ankle. (Don’t text and walk, you guys.) Amazingly, this gal and I are still friends despite our strange tendency to acquire ankle injuries whenever we see each other…

I remember being taken with the exhibition of Julia Child’s kitchen, but I had little appreciation for all of the stories contained in this little space. Today was much different. Julia’s kitchen has this special warmth about it — it draws you in as though she is still there, saying “bon appétit” in her sing-song voice, a glass of wine in her hand. As I stood there, taking everything in — the antique gadgetry, the copper pots and pans, the cabinets painted that 1960s mint green, the yellow Marimekko tablecloth, her framed Cordon Bleu diploma and all the thoughtful little details like baskets of fruit, her cookbook collection and kitschy fridge magnets — I felt like Julia was giving me her blessing to begin this blog finally. Maybe it was her spirit or maybe it was just her voice in a museum video playing on repeat in the background, but somehow I walked away with the confidence and inspiration to write this blog post today, the first day of another new year. When we left the museum, we walked outside under the blanket of the most incredible sunset behind the Washington Monument, which seemed to echo Julia’s sentiment. A good omen.

The sun setting on Jan. 1, 2014 behind the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

The sun setting on Jan. 1, 2014 behind the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

2014 seems so new, so pure, like a fresh white egg plucked from the nest. I’m a little nervous to crack it, but I can’t see it being any more trying than 2013, so bring it on. New Year’s usually brings with it a few resolutions, but I like to think of them as goals I can achieve. Today is as good a day as any to decide to do something, but something about that blank slate is so appealing. So, my goal — well, one of them — is to write and share my findings here as often as I can. I hope you’ll stick with me. Thanks for reading! Oh, and if you haven’t seen it in person, or if you need a reminder, you can take an interactive tour of Julia’s historic kitchen without having to step foot on the Metro.

Happy New Year!
// susannah