Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oxon Cove Park and Farm: Farm Fun in Oxon Hill

Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm is a national historic district, which includes a National Park Service-operated living farm museum. Located in Oxon Hill, the park evolved from a plantation home to a hospital farm and finally to the park it is today.

Group reservations are required for their most popular programs, like the Dairy Cow, Wagon Rides, and Chicken and Egg. You can also explore the park and farm on your own and see historic structures, farm equipment, and farm animals such as goats, hogs, horses, and chickens. The staff notes that the animals might not always be in view. Visitors also hike along the lower fields and ride bikes down the path along Oxon Cove. They offer a variety of events and educational activities for children. Admissions and activities are free.

Check the website for operating hours and seasons, news, fees and reservations, program schedules, and more information.

Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm
6411 Oxon Hill Road
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
(301) 839-1176

Topolino: A Local Italian Restaurant with a Friendly Atmosphere

Topolino serves up a flavorful selection of Italian cuisine in a friendly, relaxing setting complete with those cute red checkered tablecloths! The decor's matched by a menu of classic Italian food.

Stop by for their lunch buffet to feast on Spaghetti Carbonara, Manicotti, Three Cheese Tortellini, Meatballs, Mussels, Roasted Vegetables, Pizza, and dessert. At dinnertime you can start out with a glass of wine and something flavorful from the antipasto menu like Mozzarella Sticks with marinara sauce, Spinach & Artichoke Dip with ciabatta bread, Stuffed Shrimp with lump crab meat, Deep Fried Mushrooms, and Creamy Crab Dip. Topolino's pasta dishes include Rigatoni & Sausage, Fettuccini Alfredo, Tortellini Ala Crema, Baked Ziti, Lasagna, and Manicotti. A yummy pizza selection is also among their offerings. Chicken, veal and steaks are also on the menu.

Topolino is open every day.

6320 Old Branch Avenue
Camp Springs, MD 20748
(301) 449-6160

Traveling on a Budget? Check Out These Kid-Friendly Attractions in Washington, D.C.!

Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian Institution provides some of the most visited museums in the world, and they cover a wide variety of topics to suit any person's interests. Their vast collections have something for everyone, including the kids! Here are two of the best kid-friendly attractions in our nation's capital. Bonus: Both offer free admission!

Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Also known as the National Zoo, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park is home to more than 400 species of animals. They offer daily tours and interactive exhibits just about every day out of the year. Stop by the Asia Trail to see the famous giant pandas, clouded leopards, and sloth bears. Go on safari through the African Savanna exhibit to find cheetahs, Cape buffalo, black rhinos, and more. The National Zoo is dedicated to providing a fun learning experience for everyone who visits, so admission is always free!

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
See for yourself why the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is the most visited natural history museum in the world. The kids will never grow tired of the more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts. Enjoy a guided tour that will take you back in time, or set your gaze upon the world famous Hope Diamond. The little ones will love to walk among mummies and grow their minds with one of the richest collections of historical artifacts in the world. The museum is open 364 days a year, and admission is free of charge.

Shop Trendy, Colorful Accessories at Charming Charlie

For the latest trends in jewelry and accessories, check out Charming Charlie in National Harbor. You might be overwhelmed by the extensive jewelry selection at first, but the goods here are arranged by color, so go right for your favorite color (or colors) and start shopping!

You'll find an assortment of on-trend jewelry and accessories, as well as original and unique costume jewelry—all at wallet-friendly prices. (Regulars say that you can’t beat the price considering the decent quality of the items.) Whether you’re looking for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, watches, or headbands, you’ll find it here. Charming Charlie also stocks pricier handbags, clothing, and shoes. No doubt you’ll be charmed by Charlie’s creations and leave with a few pieces that’ll have people talking.

Check the website for hours and more information.

Charming Charlie
162 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD 20745
(301) 567-3191

Walter C. Pierce Community Park: A Quintessential DC Neighborhood Park

If you love the feel of a neighborhood park, check out Walter C. Pierce Community Park in Washington D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. The park is a small urban park, but offers plenty of family friendly activities including a playground with swing sets and slides. There is a multi-use playing field for soccer and other open area games, as well as a basketball court. There are plenty of picnic tables and benches to enjoy an outdoor lunch, or bring your chess set for an outdoor match on one of their chess tables. The dog park is a big draw for area residents and their furry friends.

Walter C. Pierce Community Park
2630 Adams Mill Road NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-7332

Happy 4th of July

We hope everyone has a safe and happy day as we celebrate America's Independence. Happy 4th of July!

Anacostia Park: A Natural Haven Since 1926

Though technically a part of D.C., Anacostia Park is a mere drive from Maryland—a trip that's well worth the time, if you enjoy exercising in the fresh air.

The park was born in 1926 of a decision by Congress. It decreed that this site, a flood plain at the time, could be repurposed as a recreational area. It was the first flood plain in the nation to be awarded this honor, and the team who designed Anacostia Park was obviously well aware of the importance.

Not only is Anacostia Park home to hundreds of acres' worth of space for outdoor play, but also it serves as a source of protection for the Kenilworth Marsh and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. You can feel free to visit these sites on your way to the 18-hole golf course, driving range, or the pavilion, the latter housing 3,300 square feet of open space used for various events—and sometimes even roller skating.

Anacostia Park
Washington, D.C. 20020
(202) 575-0306

Expect American Fare With an International Twist at Infuse

Infuse features a chic, modern ambiance and a flavorful fusion menu of food and drink.Here, the focus is on American fare with an international twist. Expect your favorite American dishes, but with the flavors of Italian and Asian cuisines.

Get your motor humming in the a.m. with a Breakfast Burrito, Biscuits and Gravy, Steak and Eggs, French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles, Frittatas, and Omelets. Their "8 meals under $9 in 10 minutes" is great for people on a busy schedule. Choose from a Chicken Quesadilla, Classic Burger, Fried Fish Sandwich, Turkey Balsamic Sandwich, and Steak and Cheese. Dinnertime is when you can kick back with a cocktail and an entree like Roasted Chicken with herb jus, Broiled Crab Cakes with Cajun remoulade, Mixed Grill with grilled shrimp and sirloin steak, Center Cut Pork Chop with apple sauce, and Fish and Grits with blackened tilapia. Sides include Mashed Red Potatoes, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Rice Pilaf, Steamed Broccoli and Sauteed Spinach.

6339 Allentown Road
Temple Hills, MD 20748
(301) 449-9000

Commit These Must-Know Kitchen Terms to Memory

Knowing the proper kitchen terms can mean the difference between your cake rising or flopping, your casserole baking or burning, and your steak tasting juicy and flavorful instead of dry and bland. Here are a few cooking terms that every at-home chef should know.

  1. Al dente. Though you’ve likely seen this term on the menu at your favorite Italian restaurant, do you know what it means in terms of cooking? Al dente literally translates to “to the tooth,” which describes the tender yet firm way that pasta should feel after cooking.
  2. Blanch. To blanch something, like an egg or greens, means to completely submerge it in rapidly boiling water and cook it just slightly.
  3. Caramelize. Caramelizing involves heating sugar enough for it to turn brown and have a special crunchy taste. This is normally applied to desserts, meats, or onions.
  4. Clarify. To clarify means to remove the solids from a liquid until said liquid turns clear. For example, when you skim the foam from the top of a pot of broth or remove the milk fat from butter.

Glossary of Basic Cooking Terms [Les Petites Gourmettes]
Cooking Terms [Recipe Goldmine]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [UMN]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Better Homes & Gardens]
Culinary Terms []

Happy Father’s Day!

Today we want to take time to wish all the Dads out there a very happy day! We hope all the Fathers near and far have a great day relaxing with loved ones!