Easter Sunday Brunch Roundup

It’s the week of Easter Sunday brunch so let’s get started early with a roundup of my favorite brunch dishes. Post-Easter Sunday Mass, my family loves a good spread of savory + sweet dishes (paired with a few cocktails, of course!). So I’ve got you covered: cheesy dip, sweet skillet oatmeal, stacks of polenta and the easiest cobbler EVER. We’re talking ready in under 10 minutes. All of these dishes can be whipped up in less than an hour and can feed a hungry, pastel-clad crowd!

Easter Sunday Brunch Roundup | dcgirlinpearls.com

 

Skillet Strawberry Oatmeal // Grilled Naan Pizza // Rosemary + Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Dip

Lemon Curd Belgian Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich // Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta //

Orzo Salad

Chicken Salad Sandwich // Polenta Stacked with Roasted Eggplant // Blueberry Cobbler

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Lilly Pulitzer for Target Lookbook Favorites

A happy Friday Eve treat from Target: the Lilly Pulitzer lookbook! April 19th needs to get here in a hurry because the prints and prices are on point. I honestly don’t know what I’m more excited about: the apparel or the home section.

But I’ll definitely be living in the pineapple swimsuit and that dip-dyed scarf and those patterned glasses.

I might need to make some room in my closet. And my bar cart.

Will you be camping out for the Big Day?

Lilly-Pulitzer-for-Target

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Thirsty Thursday: Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margarita with Jalapeño Habanero Tortilla Chips

Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margarita with homemade tortilla chips from Trader Joe's Habanero Lime Tortillas - dcgirlinpearls.com

You know my feelings about jalapeños. Love ‘em, can’t get enough of ‘em. Chopped into a taco, blistered and nestled inside a glorious grilled cheese with guacamole, candied and topping off a pulled pork slider, the limit doesn’t exist to how you can add jalapeños to a dish.

And like everything wonderful in this world, jalapeños positively shine in a cocktail. Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margarita has the right combo of heat + zest, and when topped with fresh sliced jalapeño we’re in business.

Wait no, not yet.

Where there are margaritas, there HAS to be guacamole.

And, of course, tortilla chips.

I’m pretty certain it’s a law.

Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margarita with homemade tortilla chips from Trader Joe's Habanero Lime Tortillas - dcgirlinpearls.com

Let’s talk about these tortilla chips. They’re been years in the making, no joke.

You know those really great thoughts you have that you promise yourself you’ll try sometime? And then it never happens?  Yup, just like that.

Since I first tried Trader Joe’s Habanero Lime Tortillas, I wished TJ’s would turn them into a tortilla chip. And by the time it occurred to me that I should just do it myself, the bag was empty. Every. Single. Time.

I can’t help how delicious tacos are!

But seriously, these habanero lime tortilla chips are just as wonderful as I dreamed they’d be.

Is it normal to dream about eating chips + guac? I hope so.

Using a pizza cutter, I created 6 triangles out of each tortilla and brushed olive oil onto both sides. Placing them on a baking sheet, I sprinkled salt and popped them into the oven at 350 for about 6-8 minutes or until crispy. Let cool and then use to scoop as much guac as possible.

Drink spicy lime margarita. Guac + repeat.

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This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl Cocktails®.  All opinions and product sentiments are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the DC Girl party going!

My Biggest Farmer’s Market Secret

Growing up, I loved going to open air farmer’s stands in the spring + summer with my mom. Zucchinis, tomatoes the size of my head and watermelon were my favorites, that watermelon never lasted 24 hours in our house. When I moved to DC, I think I went to Eastern Market twice in about 4 years but now that I live in the neighborhood, I love walking through Eastern Market on weekends. Especially now that we no longer live in the Arctic tundra.

Jessica Day summed up the love of farmer’s market visits perfectly: “I feel like Don Corleone.”

Bad news: farmer’s markets can be a bit pricey. The good news? I stumbled upon a way to save money at the market a few weeks ago on a late Sunday afternoon visit to Eastern Market.

My Biggest Farmer's Market Secret - DC Girl in Pearls

I was walking with a friend when I heard a guy yell, “Sale! Everything’s $1 or $1 per pound!” At first I thought the guy had to be joking but nope, this was not a fire drill and the reusable totes started swinging as people rushed to scoop up the deals. It makes sense: the farmers need to move the produce before it goes bad so it’s a win-win for us and them. I don’t know the name of the farmer but they are typically set up by North Carolina Ave SE across from Port City Java. I picked up everything above plus 3 cartons of strawberries for a grand total of $10.50. The veggies in the cartons as well as the asparagus are $1 each, zucchinis were $1/lb. The farmer also had onions, eggplant, watermelon (I couldn’t carry it. And yes, I know the Dirty Dancing joke) If you pay in cash, it’s a $10 minimum. Not a bad deal, right?

TL;DR For an awesome deal of produce at Eastern Market, visit on Sundays around 3! Oh, and for more Eastern Market fun, check out my guide from last summer.

See you there this weekend?

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Capitol Hill Snapshots

Spring seems to be taking its dear sweet time sprunging and I don’t know about you but I’m dying for some pops of green outside! After a seriously frigid (read: neverending) winter, I need some colorful visual therapy so I turned to some favorite snapshots I took walking around Eastern Market and Capitol Hill last summer.

Has spring sprung by you? Or are you in the same boat as me?

P.S. I’m sorry for such a short post today, Sunday afternoon my sinuses viciously betrayed me and my head’s been in a fog. I had plans to will myself to get better and write a witty post for you all but instead I sat on my couch under two blankets watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (which we can discuss when all the meds do their thing!!) and eating rosemary cheddar dip. Calories don’t count when you’re sick…

Capitol Hill Spring Snapshots - DC Girl in Pearls

Capitol Hill Spring Snapshots - DC Girl in Pearls

Capitol Hill Spring Snapshots - DC Girl in Pearls

Capitol Hill Spring Snapshots - DC Girl in Pearls

Capitol Hill Spring Snapshots - DC Girl in Pearls

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Rosemary + Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Dip

It’s Monday morning so we are starting this week s-l-o-o-o-o-w-l-y. How slowly?

As slowly as the melted cheese strings that pull gently away from the bowl of melted cheese heaven and piles onto a crunchy chip.

Woah, that was some pretty romantic prose for a sentence about melted cheese. But let’s be real, who doesn’t have romantic feelings about melted cheese?!

Oh, and did I mention this was for breakfast?!

Melted cheese for breakfast? Sign me up! - Rosemary Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Dip | dcgirlinpearls.com

BECAUSE IT IS!!

When it comes to snacks, chips are my absolute favorite. Crunchy snacks are the best kinds of snacks, it’s common knowledge.

And you really can’t have chips without dip, right?

That would break several rules, I’m pretty sure.

But there are certain rules you do have to break, especially when the rule-breaking involves brunch + melty, cheesy goodness.

YUM.

Melted cheese for breakfast? Sign me up! - Rosemary Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Dip | dcgirlinpearls.com

Breakfast sausage + melted cheese + fragrant rosemary = a delicious brunch fondue with chips. Oh god, be still my beating heart!!

Would it be wrong to eat this whole bowl all by myself?

No, no it wouldn’t be wrong. Unless you told friends you’d bring this dip with you to share at brunch. Though after a few mimosas, all bets are off. Or a few bites of this mind-blowing, cheese-melting brunch recipe. Because c’mon, once you dip a chip into a bowl of melted cheddar, there’s really no going back.

Melted cheese for breakfast? Sign me up! - Rosemary Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Dip | dcgirlinpearls.com

Melted cheese for breakfast? Sign me up! - Rosemary Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Dip | dcgirlinpearls.com

Ingredients (Serves 6)

8 oz. breakfast sausage
1/4 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablesponn maple syrup
3 cups grated cheddar cheese (9 ounces)
2 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips for serving

Directions

1. Cook sausage in medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently and breaking it up into crumbles.

2. When sausage has just a little pink remaining, add onion and continue cooking, until meat is no longer pink and onions are translucent. Using a colander, drain meat and set aside.

3. Pour milk and maple syrup into a medium sized saucepan and turn heat to medium. Let it warm until steaming, but not boiling.

4. In a bowl, toss together cheese, cornstarch and rosemary. Add this to warm milk and turn heat up slightly, constantly stirring to melt cheese evenly. Cook for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and smooth. Stir in salt and garlic powder, then add sausage. Mix well and serve immediately.

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This post was sponsored by Food Should Taste Good Chips®.  All opinions and product sentiments are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep the DC Girl party going!  

Food Should Taste Good - DC Girl in Pearls

Thirsty Thursday: Blood Orange Mint Moscow Mules

Blood Orange Mint Moscow Mules - DC Girl in Pearls

I’ve been on a bit of a blood orange cocktail kick lately. But I can’t help it: blood oranges give my cocktails a nice, tart kick.And since I’m adding citrus to the alcohol, they cancel each other out, right? And fresh mint is a green leaf, like kale and chard.

I’m no mathematician but let’s see, fresh citrus + leafy mint totally cancels out the vodka in the Moscow mule.

So my blood orange mint Moscow mule is pretty much a health food.

You’re welcome, guys.

I had my first Moscow mule a couple of years ago at Bourbon in Glover Park and I’ll be honest, it was an impulse decision. One look at the shiny copper mugs and I HAD to have a mug of my own. One would think having a degree in marketing and communications would make me highly aware of marketing smoke + mirrors that lead people to make last-minute choices in an attempt to be perceived as cool or “with it.”

One would be very wrong.

The copper mug is the coolest thing and I had to have one in my hand.

I might lose a girl card but I’m not really big on vodka cocktails. Vodka + tonic, vodka + water, no thank you. Hard pass. A vodka that’s well-mixed into a cocktail, that I can get on board with.

I’ve played around with Moscow mule recipes and while grapefruit Moscow mule did very well, blood orange takes the cake.

And now I want cake.

Blood Orange Mint Moscow Mules - DC Girl in Pearls

Seriously Cool Moscow Mule Copper Mugs

Here’s how the blood orange mint Moscow mule went down. Start off with a couple pieces of fresh mint and muddle them in the bottom of the super ridiculously cool copper mug. Add ice and squeeze the juice of one blood orange into the mug and top off with a shot of vodka and ginger beer. Garnish with mint + a slice of blood orange if you’re feeling fancy schmancy!

When in doubt, pinkie out.

I originally planned + prepped this post with a high level of optimism for winter’s end. After that Sunday a couple of weeks ago that was absolutely gloriously sunshine-filled, I became overly optimistic about spring weather and was convinced by this point, we’d be all “Elsa who?” and packing away our wool jackets.

But I have an idea.

Bear in mind this idea comes from the same mind that brought you the math to conclude a blood orange mint Moscow mule is a health food.

The Moscow mule is a quintessential warm weather cocktail. So if we drink it, warm weather will come.

I’m willing to give it a whirl if you are. Bottoms up!

Blood Orange Mint Moscow Mules - DC Girl in Pearls

Ingredients (Serves 1) 

Fresh mint

Ice

1 blood orange

1 shot of vodka

Ginger beer

Extra mint + blood orange slices for garnish (optional)

Directions

Place a couple pieces of fresh mint and muddle them in the bottom of the mug.

Add ice and squeeze the juice of one blood orange into the mug and top off with a shot of vodka and ginger beer.

Garnish with mint + a slice of blood orange.

Blood Orange Mint Moscow Mules - DC Girl in Pearls

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Spring Reading

Seriously Delish

Every year for Easter vacation, I’d pack a duffle bag filled to the brim with books on books on books. Babysitter’s Club, Harry Potter, Jane Austen + the Bronte sisters, I read it all. Devoured is probably a better verb for it. I’d sit by the pool and go through book after book after book. In a two week span, I think I read about 5 books. Which now that I think about it is kinda impressive given that I’m infamous for falling asleep when sitting out in the sun.

It’s a heavily documented/Snapchatted phenomenon thanks to my lovely family + friends.

I might not be going on Easter vacation to Florida but that doesn’t mean I can’t still fill a duffle bag of books and pretend I’m poolside as I bookworm my way through the pile. But this time, it’ll be with a fruity tropical cocktail complete with a cocktail umbrella.

I mean, it IS spring break.

What’re you reading? Or want to read? I need book suggestions!!

Currently Reading:

Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Want To Read:

Now I See You by Nicole Kear

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

I Am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai

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Get Sandal Ready At Home

I am SO ready for sandal season.

How ready you ask? So ready that I’ve been wearing an old pair of Jacks around the house because right now, my boots, wellies + I need to take a break. See other shoes, you know, the usual. I’ve been feeling a bit claustrophobic lately when it comes to my winter shoes.

But before I officially bust out my sandals, I could really use a pedicure.

At Home Pedicure Tips - DC Girl in Pearls

Soak 

I was lucky with my old apartment because it had a bath where I could hang out and soak my feet but my current apartment only has a shower. An easy + crazy cheap remedy: get a small plastic tub from Target! I have this white dishpan that I snagged at Target for $2!! This is not a fire drill!! Soak your feet in warm water or you could also add Johnson’s Foot Soap. I’ve used this soap for years and I swear it’s magic. As someone who abuses the heck out of their feet, I swear by Johnson’s Foot Soap. It might just be my #1 beauty secret.

Exfoliate + Scrub 

Once your little piggies (I couldn’t bring myself to type out feet or toes one more time) are done soaking, it’s time to get exfoliating! Tweezerman is my favorite brand for (duh) tweezers but did you know they also make a mean foot file? Telling you, this foot file will help smooth out those rough patches. I always get dry patches on my heels, guaranteed. To battle this monster, I first use my foot file as a means of attack and then to really claim total victory, St. Ives Apricot Scrub is the best. I really cannot remember not having a jar of apricot scrub handy, it’ll make your skin glow and look like a million bucks. If we wanted to keep score, St. Ives Apricot Scrub is my #2 beauty secret.

Moisturize 

Right now I’m still working on my jar of Trader Joe’s coconut body butter. I love that it’s non-greasy and I feel like the jar has lasted me forever, it might be the Mary Poppins bag of body butters. But I’ll be honest, I’m more partial to Yes To Carrots Body Butter. I’ve been a fan of their body butter since high school (that’ll be since 2007) because it dries quickly, totally enriches dry skin and has a scent I could only describe as clean. I detracted points from Trader Joe’s body butter because its coconut aroma is rather strong and makes me smell like a piña colada. Which isn’t the worst thing at times but for 9-5, it can be a bit much. You might laugh at the name “Yes To Carrots” but trust me, this stuff really works! My college roomie used to tease me about my love for Yes To Carrots until she tried the body butter. And then we had to buy separate containers because neither of us was all that great at you know, sharing the body butter.

Polish

Finally, the most fun step: nail polish!! In the spring + summer, I love to change up and play with a variety of bright hues for my nails. But when it comes to pedicures, I’m solidly on Team Pink. Very, very rarely I’ll switch to a red color but for the most part, my pedicure colors are: OPI’s La Paz-Itively Hot + You’re Such a Kabuki Queen (pictured above) and Essie Mob Square. 

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Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto + Sauteed Grape Tomatoes - DC Girl in Pearls

Zucchini noodles, zoodles, or whatever the hip kids are calling it, are life-changing.

As in, I’ve eaten this dish every single day for the last week and it rocks my world every single time.

And the fact that I can trick my brain into thinking it’s pigging out on a bowl of spaghetti when it’s actually nothin’ but veggies?!

MIND.BLOWN.

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto + Sauteed Grape Tomatoes - DC Girl in Pearls

But you want to know my #1 absolute favorite thing about this dish?

It takes about 5 minutes to make + only requires one skillet, which means maximum flavor with minimal clean-up in a ridiculously short time span.

BOW DOWN.

All hail zucchini noodles!!

You see, when I get home from work, I’m usually hungry. And by hungry, I mean ravenous. Ready to hit my fridge, Tasmanian devil style. It’s the kind of hunger that makes you go a little crazy. Don’t believe me? Listen to this:

A couple of months ago, I was heading home and, per usual, was ready for dinner since, like, 4pm. Stopped by a dastardly “Do Not Walk” sign, I blurted out, under my breath, in a sing-songy voice, “I’m so hungry” a la I’m So Fancy. Yeah, there were other people waiting for the light + I got some SERIOUS side eye.

Excuse me for being hungry. And for resembling a tomato when I blush, which I promptly did upon realizing what just happened.

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto + Sauteed Grape Tomatoes - DC Girl in Pearls

Mmm sautéed tomatoes.

Oh, right you might want to actually hear about the dish and not just the ramblings of a mad, hungry woman.

It all started with a shiny new gadget from my mom on her Amazon Prime adventures. Normally, I’m not big on “toys” and “gadgets,” particularly when it comes to my teeny tiny kitchen. The party gets crowded quickly in there.

The Premium Slicer (also available at Target) fits nicely into my cabinet with the pots + pans and I gotta say, it gets the job done. I’ve used a standard vegetable peeler to create pappardelle “pasta” from zucchinis but having the Slicer create perfect spirals that actually look like pasta?! Put it this way, I’ve benched the veggie peeler.

Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium-low heat and once the oil is hot, I add the sliced grape tomatoes and give me about 30 seconds to start softening. Meanwhile, I slice the top off a zucchini and start spiralizing over the skillet. Once you’ve added all your veggies, toss the “pasta” with a spatula or rubber tongs to evenly cook for about 3-4 minutes. Toss in a dollop of pesto and because I pray at the altar of hot ‘n spicy, I add a spoonful of Wegman’s Hot Pepper Spread to give it a kick.

P.S. Zucchini noodles with pesto is my #happydesklunch today : )

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto + Sauteed Grape Tomatoes - DC Girl in Pearls

Ingredients (Serves 1) 

1 tablespoon olive oil

Handful of grape tomatoes, halved

1 large zucchini, spiralized

Pesto

Wegman’s Hot Pepper Spread (optional but not in my world)

Directions

1. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the halved grape tomatoes and let them start to soften, about 30 seconds.

2. Toss in the zucchini “noodles” and keep the vegetables moving with a spatula or rubber tongs. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then turn off the heat. Add pesto and toss to evenly coat. Enjoy!

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto + Sauteed Grape Tomatoes - DC Girl in Pearls

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