Thirsty Thursday: Scary Good Bloody Mary

Scary Good Bloody Mary - DC Girl in Pearls

I remember the first time I saw a Bloody Mary: I was watching Will + Grace circa 2001 and Karen Walker (alias: Anastasia Beaverhausen) was walking around holding what looked like a glass of tomato juice with a celery stalk. “Who in their right mind would drink a glass of V8?,” I questioned. Oh, how wrong and foolish 11-year-old me was.

I love a good Bloody Mary bar for brunch, I can load up on funky garnishes to my little heart’s content. By far, my favorite garnish has to be grilled cheese bites. It’s like grilled cheese + tomato soup for adults. Love when my childhood favorites get a fun upgrade.

But while I might load up on hot peppers at brunch, when I make a Bloody Mary at home I rely on a few ingredients and let simplicity take the wheel.

P.S. Do you have a favorite Bloody bar in DC?

Ingredients

Bloody Mary Mix (My favorite is Zing Zang)

Hot Sauce (I opt for Tabasco)

Ground Pepper

Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka

Ice

Optional: Pickle Juice (Hear me out, people)

Directions

In a tall glass, fill about 1/4 of the way up with ice.

Sprinkle the ground pepper + a couple of healthy dashes of hot sauce.

Pour in the vodka until it covers the ice.

Optional: Pour in about an inch’s worth of pickle juice.

Fill the rest of the glass with the Bloody Mary mix.

For good luck, I always top off with some more dashes of hot sauce.

Stir and serve.

Okay, time to talk about pickles. You know how I feel about pickles, ours is a love that is deep and long lasting. A favorite weekend errand is to pick up “Hot ‘n Spicy Pickles” from Eastern Market’s In A Pickle stand. The spicy brine and Bloody Mary mix are a match made in cocktail heaven. Trust me on this one. Or you can trust my new boyfriend, he’s got a winning smile.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Blue Chair Bay giveaway!

Scary Good Bloody Mary - DC Girl in Pearls

Scary Good Bloody Mary - DC Girl in Pearls

Scary Good Bloody Mary - DC Girl in Pearls

My boyfriend likes Bloodys, too. True love right here ^

Scary Good Bloody Mary - DC Girl in Pearls

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Fall Neutrals With Pops of Pink

Fall Neutrals With Pops of Pink from Gap + J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

J.Crew Factory Quilted Puffer Vest // Gap Merino Sweater // J.Crew Factory Pleated Mini // Target Merona Leopard Print Skinny Belt // J.Crew Factory Multistrand Pearl Necklace // Target Tassel Loafers (similar: Sperry Top-Sider Audrey Loafer) // Coach Wristlet (similar: Coach Madison Leather Large Pouch // Lipstick: Estee Lauder Candy Shimmer

Weekends lately have been pure bliss: catching up with friends over mimosas, leisurely walks, perusing Eastern Market (and even venturing to Union Market) for this season’s vegetables followed by puttering around the kitchen. I also read a book for the first time in forever, I really need to get back in that groove.

A couple of weekends ago, Dana, Monica and I went for brunch on Barracks Row near Eastern Market. Originally, we had high aspirations to go to Ted’s Bulletin. I was in serious need of a homemade PopTart but sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. We were all starving and the wait was 2 hours to seat 3. After some deliberation, we found ourselves at Lavagna, one of my all time favorite brunch spots in the city. I’ve always had a wonderful meal and experience at Lavagna, which serves Southern cuisine with an Italian twist. Using all local ingredients, Lavagna’s menu changes as the seasons do but with some very important constants: their Nutella topped pancakes are what dreams are made of.

Lavagna is also notorious for their bottomless mimosas deal. For $12, you have 90 minutes for bottomless mimosas but be warned, their mimosas are strong! On this weekend, Dana, Monica and I all had errands to run so we were responsible adults and kept it a dry brunch. Nonetheless, we all had a great time and walked down 8th Street and (shockingly) found ourselves in District Doughnut. You know how much I hate having to go to a doughnut shop…

If you’re looking to spend a relaxing weekend afternoon, visit Eastern Market and Barracks Row. Or if you’re looking to kick things up a notch, Barracks Row has more than a handful of bottomless brunches to explore…

Fall Neutrals With Pops of Pink from Gap + J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls Fall Neutrals With Pops of Pink from Gap + J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in PearlsFall Neutrals With Pops of Pink from Gap + J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

Fall Neutrals With Pops of Pink from Gap + J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

Fall Neutrals With Pops of Pink from Gap + J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

Fall Neutrals With Pops of Pink from Gap + J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

Photos by Monica of Cake + Lillies 

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One-Pot Zucchini Pasta

ONE POT Low Carb Zucchini Pasta - DC Girl in Pearls

When I fall off the healthy eating wagon, I really fall off. And eat every single fried food on my way down. And then I hit rock bottom, which surfaces as a food hangover. You know that feeling when your face gets all puffy and your stomach screams at you to just stop? Yup, I’ve been there. Very recently. One weekend, I ate more junk food than I’d care to admit even to myself. I thought about listing it all out but then realized, no I’d just reset my diet. And when I say diet, I mean like what I eat on a regular basis, not a Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet, etc.

But it’s hard to give up some awesome fried food and reintroduce veggies into your daily routine. You crave comfort and typically, comfort means pasta. Lots of it. Well, my one-pot zucchini pesto pasta gives the comfort + ease of delicious pasta with the added bonus of only needing to scrub a single pot. Hallelujah, let’s get started.

Ingredients

Olive oil (approximately 2 tbsp)

2 medium or large zucchinis

A handful of grape tomatoes, halved

Pesto

Directions

1. Slice the top and bottom off each zucchini.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini to create ribbons that look like pappardelle pasta (discard the skin though)

ONE POT Low Carb Zucchini Pasta - DC Girl in Pearls

3. Over a medium-low flame, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil. I like to add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the oil, you know to get things sizzlin’.

4. Once the oil is warm, drop the zucchini ribbons into the skillet. Use a pair of tongs to toss the ribbons and evenly coat in oil. Since they’re so thin, you must continually move the ribbons with the tongs to avoid burning.

ONE POT Low Carb Zucchini Pasta - DC Girl in Pearls

5. After about a minute, toss in the tomato halves and keep turning the zucchini.

6. After about 6-8 minutes, your zucchini should be ready to go. Use the tongs (they’re my zucchini pasta BFF) to transfer the zucchini from skillet to plate. Scoop the tomatoes out.

7. Add a dollop of pasta to the bowl of zucchini pasta and tomatoes. I always have a rather generous hand when it comes to pesto, Trader Joe’s is just so darn good!

I’ve seen fancy zucchini “zoodlers” at Bed Bath + Beyond but a handy dandy vegetable peeler does the trick just fine. Have you tried zucchini pasta? And if you have tips on spaghetti squash, it’s a recipe I’ve yet to get right!

ONE POT Low Carb Zucchini Pasta - DC Girl in Pearls

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Cava Grill Happy Hour

Cava Grill Happy Hour - DC Girl in Pearls

If I had to eat only one cuisine for the rest of my life, it would undoubtedly be Mediterranean. Every year for my birthday growing up, I requested chicken souvlaki, it’s my absolute favorite meal. In case you don’t know, souvlaki is a sort of Greek salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, feta) topped onto a warm pita and served with either chicken or lamb. Greek meals always have the feeling of comfort to me.

So my love of Cava Grill + Cava Mezze should come as no surprise. I actually tried the grill, which is a casual eats version of the restaurant, before the restaurant and have documented my growing love for harissa + crazy feta on my Instagram here, here and here. Scrolling through my Instagram, I realized I’ve documented my Cava experience more times than a normal person should. Note to self. I just get really excited, okay?

Cava Grill Happy Hour - DC Girl in Pearls

Last week, I grabbed dinner with Liz of What Dress Code?, she’s also the community manager for Cava Grill. I was excited to check out their new Chinatown location and the inspiration for this post came when Liz casually mentioned to a co-worker about the more than fair price of their beers. If there’s one thing DC dwellers love, it’s a good happy hour price. 

Cava Grill Chinatown offers DC Brau and Atlas Brew Works at $4.50 and for those of you who lean more towards the vino (insert wine and girl raising her hand Emojis here), they also have red and white house wines on tap. Done and done.

Cava Grill Happy Hour - DC Girl in Pearls

Liz and I each ordered bowls and 1 glass of wine per girl (this was only a Tuesday), our total came to just under $35. If you’re looking for a delicious dinner and an adult beverage, this is the place for you. Next book club meeting? Check. A cute date on a budget? Double check. There’s a foosball table on the second floor, a little healthy competition never hurt ;)

Or if you’re simply looking for a beer or wine, you won’t find this good of a price elsewhere in Chinatown!

Have you gone to Cava Mezze or Cava Grill? Cava Mezze also has solid happy hour deals but be warned, it’s only 5-7.

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Happy Birthday, Tommy!

My special brother, Tommy - DC Girl in Pearls

My Favorite Picture of Us 

I generally don’t talk about my personal life on this blog (Should I? Do you want me to?) but I’m taking a break from regular blog-programming to celebrate my brother’s 20th birthday. If you’ve read this blog for a couple of years, you might know a bit about my brother, Tommy. But for those of you new to the blog (Hi!), I want to tell you about Tommy.

In 20 years, Tommy has accomplished more than anyone else I know. He was born premature and spent the first months of his life hooked up to all kinds of machines and nurses monitored him round-the-clock. Doctors were unable to pinpoint a diagnosis but told my parents Tommy was developmentally disabled and significantly autistic.

That Christmas, he was finally able to come home but still had to rely on an oxygen machine.

Flash forward a couple of years and he did not speak, rarely interacted with other people and still fit into toddler-sized clothes. Different therapists would come to our house to help him with speech and increasing his strength. He had a peanut shaped bouncy ball as a part of his physical therapy and when he wasn’t using it, I found it to be the perfect seat while I watched the Disney Channel.

While my friends had squabbles with their siblings over who controlled the remote, my sibling couldn’t speak and seemed to be living in his own world. My parents explained Tommy was a special kind of sibling but I never really thought of our relationship as different. He was my baby brother, my only sibling. Ours was the only sibling relationship I truly experienced so to me, our reality was our norm.

When Tommy was little, he was up there on the autism spectrum. He wouldn’t hug and most of his speaking was him carrying on big conversations in his own language with the mirror in our china cabinet. Tommy would sit there for hours talking to his reflection. As he got older, he began interacting with my parents and me more.

He loves watching the Nightly News with Brian Williams, followed by Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Watching Wheel of Fortune with my dad, Tommy began to memorize letters and spellings. If a person asked for a “C,” my dad would say “C for cat” and Tommy repeated it. Slowly but surely, Tommy became the one to supply a word for each letter called.

Specialists told my parents Tommy would never be able to read. Now, he remarkably reads at a 2nd grade level and loves his books. When I go home to New York, I fall asleep to the sound of Tommy reading his books out loud in bed, followed by a loud thud when he tosses the book to the hardwood floor after he’s finished.

Tommy is now the most verbal kid in his class, his teachers jokingly say he’s the class president.

While Tommy can become frustrated by his limitations, he is the happiest person I know. He truly appreciates the little things in life: to him, chicken fingers and a library visit make for an awesome day. He loves the Nightly News with Brian Williams and can pick Chuck Todd out from the White House Press Corp. Tommy gets a genuine kick out of the “Laughing Baby” YouTube videos and is a proud Special Olympian. Oh, and he loves a good jump on the trampoline!

P.S. If you like smiling, click on the link below : )

Tommy

Happy 20th birthday to my cutie pie, Tommy!

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Thirsty Thursday: Chocolate Coconut Rum Milkshake

Chocolate Coconut Rum Milkshake - DC Girl in PearlsMark your calendar, ladies! October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Yes, a full 24 hours dedicated to our best friend. So time to climb aboard the Good Ship Lollipop and go crazy over chocolate. Where’s Willy Wonka’s chocolate river when you need it?! I loved Roald Dahl’s classic growing up and read it until the book’s spine finally broke. I can still remember the line from Mr. Wonka proudly informing the Golden Ticket winners that his chocolate was the only chocolate mixed by waterfall…where was I? Oh yes, drifting off to chocolate-y dream land about all the ways we can celebrate National Chocolate Day.

Peanut butter cups, Snickers, brownies, truffles, cake, the possibilities to deliciously celebrate are endless. And any excuse to eat chocolate is A-OK by me! Of course, we can always drink our chocolate…

Blue Chair Bay Rum, the premium blended rum collection of Kenny Chesney for you country fans out there, asked me to toast National Chocolate Day with a tasty cocktail using their coconut rum (c/o). Well, I’ve got a cocktail I can’t wait to share with you (it might be my favorite Thirsty Thursday creation to date!) but I also have a giveaway. First the cocktail, then the prize so let’s get this chocolate party rolling!

For you rum lovers, check out Blue Chair Bay Rum’s Facebook page for more rumspiration! : )

Ingredients

Chocolate Coconut Rum Milkshake - DC Girl in Pearls

Cocktail 

Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum, 1 shot

Chocolate Ice Cream, 4-5 scoops

Milk, 1/2 cup

Rum Whipped Cream 

Cream, 1 cup

Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum, 1 teaspoon

Toasted Coconut Topping 

Shredded Coconut (Sweetened)

Directions

Cocktail 

Blend the Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum, chocolate ice cream and milk until smooth. But if you decide to add a couple extra scoops of ice cream to your shake, I promise not to tell! …I did it, too.

Rum Whipped Cream 

1. For best results, keep your cream in the fridge for at least 2 hours before you whip it. If you live in a hot and humid environment, store your bowl and whisk in the fridge for an hour.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and teaspoon of rum. I’d recommend using your whisk feature on your hand mixer because whipping cream by hand is a ton of work and your arm will be dead. And if your arm’s dead, however will you lift your glass of wonderful chocolate coconut rum milkshake to drink it? These are the types of things I worry about. Priorities. I’ve got them.

With the mixer, whip the cream for about 8 minutes until firm peaks form. I’d suggest letting the whipped cream sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving, this allows it time to set.

Toasted Coconut Topping 

This might be my favorite kitchen discovery because it opens up the doors to infinite possibilities for desserts + cocktails. I realized I can toast shredded coconut using my handy-dandy, trusty-rusty boyfriend George Foreman Grill. He’s quite a dashing fellow, I gotta say. Always there for me.

Spread the desired amount of coconut shreds on the grill (no need to lower the top half) and move gently with a spatula until you reach your preferred level of toasted. I personally like to half-toast them, I love the white coconut color next to the golden toasted shade.

Chocolate Coconut Rum Milkshake - DC Girl in Pearls

Chocolate Coconut Rum Milkshake - DC Girl in PearlsMy go-to drink is a rum + Diet Coke. But I haven’t always been a rum fan. When I was in middle school, my family went on a vacation to the Dominican Republic. I read about 7 books in 2 weeks, swam in a natural pool, my awesome parents photographed me getting hit in the face with a monster wave (Thank goodness memes hadn’t been created yet, it’s a doozy) and I snorkeled to my heart’s content. One day, we were out on a boat ride and my mom ordered a rum + Diet and I asked for a Diet Coke. Our orders were swapped and in my 13 year old naiveté, I thought Dominican Republic’s Diet Coke tasted funny and my mom couldn’t understand why her drink was so incredibly weak. Thankfully, I grew up and so did my tastebuds because now I’m a rum girl through and through.

So there you have it! My favorite Thirsty Thursday cocktail to date. I had a blast coming up with the recipe and just as much fun photographing the shake. And now YOU can have a blast because it’s giveaway time!

You must be a U.S. citizen AND over the age of 21 to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate Coconut Rum Milkshake - DC Girl in Pearls

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This post was sponsored by Blue Chair Bay Rum®.  All opinions and product sentiments are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make DC Girl in Pearls possible!

Blue Chair Bay Rum - DC Girl in Pearls

Blind Dog Bakery

Blind Dog Bakery - DC Girl in Pearls

Last week, I met with Greer Gilchrist and her brother Aidan, who works at Union Kitchen, to talk about (and taste) Greer’s amazing cookies.

Blind Dog Bakery bakes everyone’s favorite dessert using unexpected ingredients with tasty results! I’m talkin’ about Sriracha. I know what you’re thinking, “Sriracha?! In cookies?!” Yes. It happened. And spoiler alert it was incredible. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Greer’s lifelong love of cookies + baking became a fulltime gig with Blind Dog Bakery, which operates out of Blind Dog Cafe in the Shaw neighborhood. What is Blind Dog Cafe? And how’d it get its name?

It’s a pop-up cafe operating out of Darnell’s bar during the day. And yes, there is a lovable blind dog named Baxter who serves as cafe + bakery mascot, he belongs to one of the cafe’s owners. How dapper does he look in his pink apron?!

Greer’s original cookie is, of course, the chocolate chip: the cookie that started it all. Can’t go wrong with a traditional and Greer’s chocolate chip is chewy, melt-in-your-mouth bliss. Dipped into a glass of milk and you’ll feel like a kid all over again. In the best possible way.

Blind Dog Bakery - DC Girl in Pearls

Greer offers a variety of cookies and I swear, they were all out-of-this-world, mind blowingly good. Let’s chat about some of the flavors.

Blind Dog Bakery - DC Girl in Pearls

A Whole Foods exclusive, the coffee-chocolate-cookie-to-be-named made me a bit hesitant, I’ll be honest. I don’t drink coffee and never really liked the taste. I bravely took a bite and was pleasantly surprised to discover the coffee taste was not overpowering and, paired with the caramel flavors of brown sugar and milk chocolate, tasted incredible. If you do happen to be a coffee drinker, I’m sure you would love dipping this cookie into your (iced) coffee. Even the non-coffee people will love it! P.S. With Christmas season quickly approaching, a bundle of coffee cookies would be a perfect stocking stuffer for that java fan in your life.

For those of you who are vegan, Greer offers a Peanut Butter Maple Date cookie and it was actually my second favorite cookie. If she hadn’t told me it was vegan, I never would have known in a million years. I was in total disbelief after I tasted it. The maple syrup gives it a natural sweetness and the pumpkin seeds were a happy crunch. Yummmm!

Blind Dog Bakery - DC Girl in Pearls

My favorite cookie was, no surprise, the Honeyed Sriracha. I’ve used Sriracha in my stir fry meals and thought I was adventurous adding a couple o’ squeezes in my pasta with vodka sauce. But it turns out Sriracha’s power extends beyond savory: it is AWESOME in baked goods. Bow down.

At first when you try the Honeyed Sriracha, you are surprised to taste the sweetness of Sriracha but then feel the burn at the back of the throat as an aftertaste. Absolutely incredible. I couldn’t get enough of those cookies! Greer suggested pairing the cookie with a dark beer so DC beer drinkers, take notes.

Blind Dog Bakery - DC Girl in Pearls

Blind Dog Bakery - DC Girl in Pearls

Blind Dog Bakery - DC Girl in Pearls

Blind Dog Bakery’s other flavors include Peanut Butterscotched, Spiced Apricot and Salted Oat. No matter which cookie you pick, you will be one happy camper. Trust me.

Greer’s cookie business has flourished and starting November 8th, you can grab a delicious Blind Dog Bakery cookie (or several) at Whole Foods on P Street NW. You might want to circle November 8th in your calendar because that day, Whole Foods is setting up tables throughout the store with different varieties of Greer’s cookies and milk to go with them! Who says cookies + milk are just for kids and Cookie Monster? Sign me up!

For those of you with kiddies, Whole Foods P Street is hosting Li’l Goblins this weekend, October 25th. There will be fun ‘n games AND you can sample some of Greer’s wonderful cookies. I think the parents will end up eating as many, if not more, cookies than their li’l goblins!

Greer is a sweetheart in person and in email, I wish her the best of luck in growing her tasty business! She’s got me craving cookies and singing this on loop in my head.

Blind Dog Bakery - DC Girl in Pearls

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Professionally Polka Dotted

Professionally Polka Dotted ft. J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

Blouse: J.Crew Factory Ruffle Cami // Blazer: J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer // Skirt: J.Crew Factory (old) – similar: White House Black Market Mixed Dot Pencil Skirt // Heels: Jessica Simpson Callie Heels in Nude Patent // Lipstick: Estee Lauder – Candy Shimmer 

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted a 9-5 look, oops. Truth be told, my content brainstorms have revolved mostly around recipes and cocktails. In the last few weeks, my stomach’s been bigger than my closet. It’s great because before this, I was in a big ol’ kitchen slump but also bad when my clothes are a bit more snug than I’m okay with. I’m at it again, even in an outfit post, I go off on a culinary tangent. Back to clothes.

Polka dots are a good pattern to breathe life into work wear, especially offices with conservative dress codes. I added some color with a ruffle collar blouse, though I do have a habit of pairing my navy blazer with cream tops. I’ve had my J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer since 2009, it’s definitely an investment piece that will last you season after season. Right now, I’m relying on my navy blazer as an early fall jacket before DC gets into those cooler temps and we have to bundle up.

Finish the look with my very favorite nude heels that I swear by and you are 9-5 ready in minutes. A simple outfit for those mornings when you’d rather hit snooze than peruse your closet.

P.S. I haven’t been wearing heels at all lately so the balls of my feet weren’t amused in the slightest about a day spent running around the city in pumps.  Sole Serum sent me a sample to try and boy, am I (and my feet) happy they did! Within minutes, my feet were pain-free and it felt like I hadn’t just traipsed around DC in my heels. You apply two pumps of serum to where your dogs are barkin’ and gently massage in the serum. Wait about 60 seconds for the serum to dry and slip back into your heels. In 10 minutes, instant relief for your feet! The serum fits discreetly in my tote, it’ll be great to have on hand when I start wearing heels every day again. 

Professionally Polka Dotted ft. J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

Professionally Polka Dotted ft. J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

^ Spooky ghost hands for Halloween!

Professionally Polka Dotted ft. J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

Professionally Polka Dotted ft. J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

Professionally Polka Dotted ft. J.Crew Factory - DC Girl in Pearls

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Fried Pickles Recipe

Fried Pickles Recipe - DC Girl in Pearls

I’m a pickle girl, plain and simple. I can easily finish a jar of pickles all by myself in one sitting. And I’ve done it…more than once. A weekend stop to Eastern Market isn’t complete without a visit to the “In A Pickle” stand. Pickles + puns? They know the way to my heart.

Their hot ‘n spicy pickles are my favorite and while I’ve added these pickles to salads and used the brine in a Bloody, I realized the other week I’ve never fried them. That is a crime against my taste buds and it was time to rectify that promptly. No deep fryer? No problem! Just grab a big pot and some vegetable oil and we’re in business. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Ingredients

Pickles (I used the hot ‘n spicy kind from “In A Pickle”)

Vegetable oil

1/2 cup, flour

2 teaspoons, Cajun seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons, cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon, salt

1/2 cup, water

Fried Pickles Recipe - DC Girl in Pearls

Directions

1. Slice pickles into chips, pat dry on a plate using paper towels.

2. Fill a large pot with at least an inch of vegetable oil. Heat over a medium-low flame for 5 minutes. Test if the oil is ready by dropping a dollop of the batter into the oil. If bubbles immediately form around the batter, the oil is the right temperature.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper and salt. Add the water and continue whisking until smooth.

Fried Pickles Recipe - DC Girl in Pearls

4. Drop the pickle chips into the batter and, using a fork, thoroughly coat the chip and scoop out of the bowl (don’t spear the chip with the fork).

5. Place the pickle chips into the oil for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon.

Fried Pickles Recipe - DC Girl in Pearls

Ranch dressing is arguably tied for first time with ketchup for World’s Favorite Condiment. And for good reason: it goes great with everything, particularly fried pickles. But for those of you who also hail from Western New York (hi!), you’ll know about the wonders of Bison French Onion Dip. This dip is a must on football Sundays and is a wonderful way to eat your feelings after a harrowing Bills defeat or a last-minute victory like yesterday’s.

Several months ago, I spied Bison French Onion Dip tucked into a corner in the dairy department at Wegman’s in Fairfax and I immediately ran and grabbed several French Onion Dips. No shame, no judgement.

I had a hunch that along with Ruffles and pretzels, fried pickles could be added to the list of snacks only made better by Bison dip. The magical properties of Bison dip held true and it was pure caloric bliss. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be living on quinoa, veggie burgers and vegetable soup for the next week.

Fried Pickles Recipe - DC Girl in Pearls

Photos by Caroline Holman

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Chairish Retro Inspired Design Board

Since I can remember, I’ve always loved vintage and retro pieces. Chalk it up to watching a lot of Happy Days and Laverne + Shirley on Nick-at-Nite. Or reading Molly the American Girl’s books over and over again.

My love for retro aesthetic usually leads me to digging through consignment and thrift shops, searching for buried treasures. Sometimes, I need a quick fix of design-induced happiness. And that’s where Chairish comes in handy.

Chairish is an expertly curated source for designers (or below-amateur designers like me) with a love of vintage, unique furniture and wonderfully kitschy decor pieces. It’s an online market and app for selling and purchasing vintage items. Not to mention its name is a pun and I think we all know how I feel about puns.

In my 550 sq. ft. space, there’s zero room left for furniture. But, as my 9th grade history teacher once said: “Just because you’re on the diet, doesn’t mean you can’t look at the menu.” And the menu is serving up this incredible butterfly wingback in turquoise velvet.

Back home in New York, I loved curling up on our wingback, that is when my dad wasn’t claiming the territory. It’s the perfect spot for enjoying a good book wrapped up in a blanket. If I had the space, a wingback is first on the list.

Keeping the blast from the past party alive, I’ve picked some accessories for my new favorite accent chair:

Chairish Retro Inspired Design Board - DC Girl in Pearls

Wingback Armchair in Turquoise Velvet // Telephone Bank // Embroidered Throw Pillow – Fireworks // Ginger Jar Lamp // Royal Worcester Oval Baker

I think we can all agree the telephone bank is just too cute for words. The little guy needs a happy home on a side table or mantlepiece, perhaps perched on top of a stack of coffee table books. This embroidered throw pillow brings fireworks to any neutral palette. Or go color-crazy and nestle this pillow among a rainbow of throws?

I adore ginger jars but I’m familiar with the blue-and-white toile variety. The green lamp is a fun veer from the usual and a white lampshade can only make the green hue pop even more. In this case, it is easy to be green.

The oval baker might just be my favorite piece of this roundup. I’m forever looking for cute bowls and trays to keep my earrings  in one piece. Or you could use this baker on your entryway table to keep your keys and mail sorted. The gold tinted baker might just find a forever home as a centerpiece for your dining table with a vase full of bright, cheerful blooms in its center.

Is there a piece from Chairish you love? You can check out their beautiful collection of accent chairs here! Even if you are like me and your place is filled with furniture, there’s nothing wrong with taking a virtual stroll through the vintage shop. Have a great weekend!

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