April Look Back

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When I started writing this reflection about April,  I thought it was all about cherry blossoms and work.

A little back story: The DC /Northern Va region seems to literally go from drab winter to everything in bloom overnight. On the professional side, I went to Oregon for a work conference and then the last few weeks were busy winding down the semester.

But now that I look at the pictures, I see April was also really about eating too.

First up, this cake!

The month started off with discovering a food blog written by a local Northern Va mom who once went to culinary school. Her blog is called Once Upon a Chef, and I’ve fallen for her simple and tasty recipes.

The very first recipe I made was this beautiful flourless chocolate cake, which we enjoyed during Easter brunch. I made that merengue topping all by myself!

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 In this picture, you’ll notice that Easter brunch is still intact, but someone (I don’t know who?) already got into the cake.

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 That same weekend, we drove out to the National Arboretum and walked around with Quinn. They were hosting their annual springtime ikebana show, so of course I had to see that.

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 These floral arrangements are so beautiful and simple, and I thought about how I embarrassed myself when I exhibited my own creation at an Ikebana show in Japan. 

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 This year, peak cherry blossom bloom hit on a weekend, and we knew there would be massive crowds.

We decided to go early on Saturday morning to watch the sunrise.

Guess what? Still crowded, even at 6:00 am.

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 This picture looks deserted, and you’re probably thinking, ‘Where are all the people?”

There they are below… (let me remind you, this is 6 am, folks)

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 After taking loads of early morning photos, we hit a new donut shop in Old Town, Alexandria called the Sugar Shack. 

Nice reward for waking so early.

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 With nicer weather last month, we looked for more ways to hang out outside with our dog and eat, of course. 

One of our favorite spots dog-friendly spots with great food and nice ambiance is Cheesetique in Del Rey. 

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 Another fun outing last month was meeting our friends Todd and Nili at the Sugar Showdown. This event was a dessert competition featuring springtime treats from four local chefs, and the proceeds went to charity.

Isn’t this the cutest little carrot cake you’ve ever seen?

Note to self: Herbal accents on desserts seems to be a new food trend this season. 

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Another food discovery last month was fried pickles at the Red Fox Brewery in Falls Church. I’m hooked. 

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On non-food related matters, I read a couple of good books that I would recommend to all of you.

The first was Rooftops of Tehran, which I read for my book club. I really want to visit Iran now.

The other was All the Light We Cannot See, which was just named the Pulitzer Prize winner. This was generously lent to me by a work friend after I told her I was number 1052 on the library wait list for it.

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The month ended with a very unfulfilling shopping trip to the mall. I went with high expectations that I would be inspired by the new spring fashions. Instead, I was just bored!

I used to really love shopping, and I just can’t stand it now. Maybe it’s because I feel like most of the good stuff is sold online now … I feel like actual real shopping is just not fun anymore. Anyone relate?

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