good eats: rigatoni with spicy calabrese style pork ragu

Last Sunday I made this rigatoni recipe from the February issue of Bon Appetit and it was divine.  The secret was simmering the sauce for close to four hours.  I know..four hours?  Who has time for that?  Make time because it's that delicious. My hung over husband was very pleased and immediately ate two bowls.  Enjoy! Rigatoni with Calabrese Style Pork Ragu Ingredients: 1 medium onion, quartered 1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1" pieces 1 celery stalk, cut into 1" pieces 4 garlic cloves (I didn't use the garlic because me and garlic don't get along) 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes 1/4 cup olive oil 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (I used hot) 1 pound ground pork Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper pinch of sugar 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 pound mezzi rigatoni or penne rigate 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano plus more Pulse onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to a small bowl and set aside.  Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add ground pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Increase heat to medium-high. Add reserved vegetable mixture to drippings in pot, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8-10 minutes. Stir tomato paste and 1 cup water in a small bowl; add to pot. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 6-8 minutes. Add reserved meat, diced tomatoes and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, adding more water as needed to keep meat nearly submerged, until meat is tender, about 4 hours. Season with salt.  Add pinch of sugar. DO AHEAD: Rag├╣ can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill, or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat before continuing. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta and 1/2 cup...
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shout out

A well deserved shout out on my husband's birthday: Thank you for being you.  You make me laugh, you listen to my endless ranting about dumb people (at the post office, on the road, on the phone), you cook me amazing meals, you go to the grocery store because you know I hate it, you hold my hand when I'm sad, you empathize when I have crazy deals, you take care of my ancient cat, you'll have a dance party with me after too many afternoon cocktails while we're at the beach, you're always up for an adventure at a new restaurant or bar, and you're curious about the world. I am so glad you're in my life. I hope you have a kick ass birthday. Pho shizzle. Smooches.  ...
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neighborhood guide: u st. corridor

New feature!  Neighborhood guides.  This is something I've wanted to do for a long time.  I've lived in DC for fourteen years (!?!) and I have my fair share of special spots.  As a realtor, I also think it's important to have a working knowledge of fun places in various neighborhoods.  I can't highlight every treasured locale. There's too many.  Instead, I've limited myself to my favorite home stores, restaurants and bars.  Everything you need when you're visiting a new neighborhood, right?   I'm starting with U St., NW, my beloved slice of DC.  I've lived on U St. Corridor since 2007.  It's changed dramatically in those six years.  Many new buildings have been built, both apartments and condos plus tons of restaurants and retail. Shop at Good Wood and Foundry.  Both offer something unique.  Neither store offers the average big box fixings.  Think antique and vintage, one of kind pieces at reasonable prices.   Eat at Marvin and Izakaya Seki.  Marvin offers consistently tasty bistro fare.  I love their chicken and waffle, their grits (their brunch rocks) and their grilled fish. I know it's a strange mix but it's always delicious. Izakaya Seki offers traditional Japanese food.  There's sushi, izakaya (grilled skewers) and a number of interesting dishes.   Drink at the Gibson and Vinoteca.  The Gibson is a favorite because it's always an "experience".  The bar is beautiful; dark and intimate.  The cocktails are hand crafted and exceptional.  It's perfect place to take out of town guests for a rare adventure.  Vinoteca is one of my regular neighborhood joints.  Mostly because it has an unbelievable happy hour from 5-7pm with $5 glasses of wine. They don't serve your typical HH swill and that makes me happy.  I also love their plaza in the back. It's my favorite place to be on a sunny...
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riveting rooms

No wonder people go on tropical vacations in January.  This weather (grey, rainy, weather advisory) leaves a lot to be desired.  Instead of going to the gym, I wanted to stay in bed this morning and snuggle in the covers. If I had a fireplace, my dream would be complete.  Work smerk. ...
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saturday synopsis

My husband has gone to AC for a boys trip this weekend and it's been delightful. Don't get me wrong, I miss the guy.  But I LOVE having some time to myself.  I made a version of Cup of Jo's taco soup (sounds disgusting but it's so.damn.good). Last night, I watched Buckwild.  I know. I have an MTV addition that's kind of ridiculous at my age.  But it's so entertaining.  The TV hasn't been on today.  I have Miles Davis on Pandora. I'm doing all the nonsense I've been putting off forever (work included). I'm having dinner with a few girls tonight at Fiola. Tomorrow, I'm writing a contract and seeing a few clients.  Then I'm going to make Calabrese style pork ragu to welcome home my hung over, exhausted husband.  It's my perfect sort of...
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hello sellers market

Remember last summer when I first mentioned the switch from buyers to sellers market?  The start of the 2013 selling season has proven that conversation was not a one hit wonder.  It's back and it's here to stay until inventory levels increase.   As an agent, I knew the switch was occurring because of what I was seeing in the market.  My listings were getting multiple offers and my buyers were facing multiple offers on properties they liked.  I was hoping in 2013, inventory would increase and this wouldn't be a factor.  So far, this isn't happening and it's competitive. One of colleagues recently had 3 offers on his listing and it went for significantly over list price.  In December (DECEMBER! Traditionally a very slow real estate month), I had clients looking at a house on 1528 Spring St, NW.  We didn't put in an offer but the home received 5 offers and sold for $42,000 over list price.  In 4 days.     Recently, a Wall Street Journal article titled "Can I buy your house, pretty please?" noted the pitch letter is back as well.  Is this another housing boom?  Only time will tell but from where I'm sitting, it looks like it. photo via...
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the source’s dim sum brunch

Dim sum brunch..the mere mention of those words make me happy.  Add Scott Drewo, the amazing chef at Wolfgang Puck's The Source, to the mix and I'm a little euphoric.  What?  I like restaurants.   On Saturday, my Aunt and Uncle were in town.  They're adventurous eaters and I thought taking them to dim sum brunch at the Source would be the perfect way to spend the afternoon.  There's 30 items on the menu.  You can order 5 tastes for $40 or 8 tastes for $56.  The chef recommends at least 5 tastes.   Everything we ordered (and we ordered extensively) was delicious.  My favorites were the dumplings and the duck buns.  If you're looking for a unique, delicious dining experience, check this out.  It was one of my favorite brunch experiences in DC.   PS-dim sum brunch is only on Saturdays.   The Source is located at 574 Pennsylvania Ave, NW WDC  202-637-6100....
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riveting rooms

Sometimes you see a home that's so stunning, you can spend hours observing the details.  Soledad Suarez de Lezo's Madrid residence is one of them.  Formerly an office space, she's transformed the rooms into an elegant home.  It was recently featured in Nuevo Estilo and it's not to be missed.   This room is a perfect example.  Observe the huge windows, the objects de art, the vibrant colors of the couches and pillows and let's not forget those incredible ceilings.  It's brilliant! photo via Nuevo...
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happy monday..DC style

Whether the president being inaugurated is a Democrat or a Republican, Inauguration is a fun time to visit DC. All weekend, the city has been full of people seeing the sights and soaking up the energy of the big event.  I've been working.  Most of my clients have been late because traffic has been horrible.  I'm off to VA today and I'm dreading it.  Most of the bridges and roads are closed.  I think it's going to be a disaster.  But work is work, right? Regardless of your political affiliation, I hope everyone enjoyed their 3 day...
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“homemade” ramen

Earlier this week, when the weather was grey and rainy, my husband whipped up a bowl of "homemade" ramen for lunch.  It was delicious and comforting and I inhaled mine in about 3 seconds.   There's a wonderful Japanese market at 2004 17th St., NW called the Hana Japanese Market.  When my husband needs a ramen fix, he stops by Hana and picks up a couple of Ramen Shoyu by Sun Noodle.  They're in the freezer case and it's not your typical pre-packaged ramen.   The trick is to water down the broth a bit. The instructions say to mix one package of the liquid soup base to 1-1/2 cups of hot water.  He uses 3 cups of water to one package of soup and the results are perfect.  It's tasty but not too salty.   After you boil the noodles, combine the noodles and broth in a bowl.  Then add the rest of the ingredients. Generally, we use whatever we have on hand from the previous nights dinner.  His bowl (pictured above) has brussel sprouts, roasted chicken, sugar snap peas, arugula, a poached egg and white kimchi plus various condiments. My bowl was not as exciting (therefore not pictured) and had roasted chicken, sugar snap peas and arugula. Both versions were fantastic....
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‘hood happenings

links top to bottom: 1, 2, 3, 4 photos top to bottom: NY Times, Borderstan, Washingtonian,...
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lamp love

I want a new lamp for my living room.  I love my current lamp but the scale is wrong.  It's too small for the space and every time I gaze at my living room, I think: "gah..that's got to go."    These beauties have caught my fancy.  I really want number one: the Tolomeo Mega Floor lamp.  Except it's over a $1000!  Cue the search for something similiar and 2-4 are the options.  What do you think? 1. Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp $1,015 2. Industrial Overarching Lamp $379 3. Walker Lamp $368 4. Polygon Floor Lamp...
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