Sunday, April 20, 2014

Missing an Ingredient? Try These Common Food Substitutions!

It's happened to the best of us: You excitedly begin a recipe only to find that you're missing an ingredient. Don't scrap your recipe just yet! Chances are that you have an adequate substitute on hand. Here are three common substitutions that can prevent the hassle of last-minute runs to the grocery store.

If you're missing oil or butter:
Try applesauce in place of oil or butter. This sub-in works wonderfully in quick bread recipes (like banana bread), as it adds moistness to the bread. Mashed avocado and bananas can also be subbed for oil and butter.

If you're missing eggs:
These substitutes can replace one large egg: 1/4 cup pureed silken tofu; 2 egg whites; half a banana mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; 2 egg yolks plus 1 tablespoon water (best used in cookie or bar recipes).

If you're missing sour cream or mayo:
Greek yogurt rivals the creamy flavor of sour cream and mayo, and bonus: It's lower in fat and calories! In some cases, Greek yogurt can be substituted for buttermilk or cream cheese.

Common Ingredient Substitutions [AllRecipes]
Emergency Substitutions [Betty Crocker]
Top 10 Food Substitutions for Healthier Cooking [TLC]

Happy Spring!

The sun is shining and the flowers are starting to bloom. Wishing everyone a lovely Spring!

Take A Walk In The Woods At Theodore Roosevelt Island

Take a walk in the woods on Theodore Roosevelt Island. Created in the 1930s as a living memorial to honor the former president and preservationist, landscape architects transformed this island in the Potomac from old farmland into natural woodlands. The island has over eighty acres of forest with several trails for hiking and biking. Visitors love escaping the urban environment of D.C., and enjoying wildlife observation. Birding groups come to the island for nature walks with regular sightings of Osprey and Blue Heron, especially along the "Swamp Trail." Canoeing or kayaking around the island are other favorites activities for visitors. The island does not have grassy areas for picnic, and trails are either clay, gravel, or wooden boardwalk, and can get muddy after a rain. A foot bridge connects the island with Arlington, and the entrance is a short walk from the Rosslyn Metro stop.

Theodore Roosevelt Park
George Washington Pkwy
Arlington, VA 22216

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Just a short drive from the Maryland border, the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is a place of respite and learning in Washington, D.C.. And best of all, you can come into the park by land or sea! Take the Metro and get off at the Deanwood stop on the Orange Line. Or canoe down the Anacostia River Water Trail, but be prepared – your arrival and departure are determined by the tides. Then, take in the beauty! Come at 7 a.m. to see a fantastic sunrise. Yoga and tai chi aficionados use the tranquil atmosphere to go through their paces. Parents bring their kids to commune with nature. Take your time – this is a place of quiet contemplation. Enjoy the wildlife sightings and the fragrance wafting from the water gardens. Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is open every day year round except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens
1550 Anacostia Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20019
(202) 426-6905

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza at Menomale

When the moon hits your eye and you want a pizza pie, find amore at Menomale. This little gem has a wood burning pizza oven that churns out authentic Neapolitan pizza. Ingredients are imported from Italy and crafted by owner and pizzaiolo, Ettore Rusciano who hails from Naples, Italy and takes pride in Menomale's quality food. He’s been certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana, a non-profit founded to preserve authentic Neapolitan pizza-making. Pizza has a light and crispy crust, sweet and tangy sauce, and fresh and flavorful cheese. There is a full bar that features a variety of local and international favorite small batch and craft brews, including 10 on tap. The large hand-built oven dominates the small space and serves as a focal point and conversation starter. Its a popular spot in Brookland, so make a reservation if you’re trekking across town on a busy night.

2711 12th Street NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 248-3946

Increase Your Physical Activity with These Motivational Tips

Exercise seems like a great idea, but it can be hard to break the inertia when your couch seems so comfortable and there’s that great movie marathon on television. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to get up and go work out, but these tips from the USDA can help you to stop making excuses and finally to go for a run or visit the gym:

  • Choose activities that you can do regularly and that you enjoy. It’s easier to stick to an exercise schedule when it’s convenient.
  • Even small activities start to add up over time. Take a brisk walk every day at lunch or commit to a gentle yoga class once a week to get into a workout routine.
  • Keep your exercise shoes and clothes in your car. If you have them with you, you’ll be ready when that burst of energy strikes.
  • Join (or start!) an office softball team or lunchtime workout class. You and your co-workers can motivate each other.

For more tips on how to stay active, visit the USDA website.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you today.

Bike to Bethesda on the Capital Crescent Trail

Bike your way to Bethesda on the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT). This 11-mile urban trail is a favorite among area walkers, joggers, and bikers. With views of the Potomac River, the trail follows the path of an abandoned section of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. It’s paved from Georgetown to Bethesda, crushed stone on to Lyttonsville, and then on-road into Silver Spring. When you first head to the trail you might think it's flat, but it actually has a slight, steady incline out of DC – so plan your route accordingly. Visitors note that the most crowded sections are near the Bethesda entrance, especially on the weekend.

The Capital Crescent Trail also connects with other DC area trails including the C&O Canal Towpath and the Rock Creek Trail.

Capital Crescent Trail
3500 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 234-4874

Oby Lee: Coffee, Crepes, and Tea in Arlington

The humble crepe is given high respect at the Oby Lee. Located just a short distance from The Verona at Silver Hill Apartments in Arlington, the Oby Lee is a creperie that features delicious items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Come in and relax in the comfortable dining area, or on a good day, get a table outdoors to watch the world go by. Start off your day with a breakfast crepe, complemented by an Oby Lee espresso drink, cup of tea or a fruit smoothie. The lunch and dinner crepes are also tasty, as are the quiche choices and tapas plates. And the wine selection is also very good, with specific vintages on tap! This is a nice place for a quiet bite or a drink with friends. Oby Lee is open Tuesdays through Sundays for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Oby Lee
The Reserve At Clarendon Centre
3000 N. Washington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
(571) 257-5054

Quarterdeck: Fresh Seafood in Arlington, Virginia

For fresh seafood, come to the Quarterdeck. Located in Arlington just a short trip from The Verona at Silver Hill Apartments, Quarterdeck is the kind of seafood place that you usually find near the seashore. But lucky for you, this is inland! The décor is casual and comfortable, with a great bar area, wood paneling and art on the walls with nautical themes. When the weather’s nice, dine on the patio! Year-round, there is always a nice selection of apps, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees. But when Blue Crabs are in season, get here in a hurry! Get them by the dozen, or groups can do the Crab Feast. Quarterdeck is open every day from 11:30 a.m. until 2 a.m.

1200 Fort Myer Drive
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 528-2722