Summer in the Winter

3 Dec

IMG_1555[1]It’s a winter wonderland in Washington, D.C.! Actually, not really. This picture is at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, where Stef and I went ice skating over the weekend. Despite the winter-y set up, it is so mild over here! We’re talking highs of sixty degrees at the beginning of December – say whaaat??

Despite the warm weather, Stef and I had a great time at the rink – it was really busy and the people watching was almost as good as the ice skating, something I haven’t done in years.

This also happened:

IMG_1544[1]I have limited my pasta intake significantly since moving back from Rome, but once in awhile I like to indulge and this was a fabulous way to do so. I will post the recipe at the end of the post (it’s super easy – like everything I make).

IMG_1549[1]Another  special treat was homemade lox bagels for lunch. I rarely buy lox as they’re rather expensive, but I had a craving that was too strong to ignore, so Stef and I picked up some Wild Alaskan salmon at Trader Joe’s to spice up these bagels. The salmon was smoke with Washington State applewood (yay, Washington!) and the smokiness was evident in the flavor of the lox – it was delicious!

Saturday was special because it marked the first of December – one of my very favorite months. One of the reasons I love it so much is because it’s kicked off with my brother’s birthday! He turned 21 on the first (oh my goodness!!!) and I really wished that I could have been there to celebrate with him. Luckily, I will be back in Seattle in just a couple of weeks and we can celebrate belatedly! And because I have no shame or fear of embarrassment, here is a serious throwback picture of the two of us when we were little.

IMG_1546[1]Weren’t we just the cutest? Note how I am basically forcing him to hug me? I was an aggressive little kid, even back then.

The rest of the weekend was nice and low-key, which is just the way I like it. The Seahawks beat the Bears in overtime and the University of Washington volleyball team beat Hawai’i to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament! I stayed up wayyy past my bedtime to live stream the latter game and it was so worth it.

The highlight meal of the weekend was definitely the pasta  I posted above, so I am going to share the super easy recipe with you here. It’s wonderfully light and is more suited towards the summer, but the weather was so warm over the weekend that it somehow felt appropriate!

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Linguine (serves 4)


  • 16 oz. shrimp (fresh or frozen will do)
  • 16 oz. dry linguine pasta
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 Tblsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tblsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated parmiggiano-reggiano (optional, to taste)

What to do:

  • In a large pan, saute the shallots and garlic in the olive oil, until the shallots are soft. Make sure the garlic doesn’t get brown, otherwise it acquires a really unappealing bitter taste.
  • In a large pot of boiling water, add the linguine and cook for about 10 minutes, or until cooked al dente.
  • Add butter, lemon zest, parsley, and shrimp to pan and cook until butter is melted and shrimp is pink, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Drain linguine and add to the pan, making sure the mixture covers the noodles.
  • Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
  • Transfer to bowls and top with grated parmiggiano-reggiano, if desired.

Stef and I made the full portion and saved half of it for another meal. When we ate it the second time, we found that the lemon and garlic had really absorbed into the linguine and made the pasta much more flavorful, so this pasta gets a thumbs up for leftovers!

Food For Thought: Is it starting to feel like winter where you live? What are your favorite things about December?

I am starting to count down the days until Stef and I are home for the holidays – it will be so good to see friends and family again! Now that it is December, I can officially start my holiday Pandora playlist and get excited for all the things that come with the month. Hoping you all have a great start to this week!






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