bubbles and sweets

Tonight, I'm going to a bubbles and sweets party.  That happens to be one of my favorite combos because there's nothing better than champagne and desserts.  My contribution: these delectable chocolate chip pretzel bars.  While they aren't as addicting as the salted honey and chocolate bark, they're pretty tasty.  What are you doing tonight?  Happy New Year! chocolate chip pretzel bars ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract One 12-ounce bag bittersweet chocolate chips 1 1/2 cups mini pretzels, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles preparation Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, allowing overhang on the 2 long ends. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with both sugars at medium speed until light, 1 minute. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Stir in the chips and pretzels. Spread the batter in the pan and top with the sprinkles. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden; the center will still be a little gooey. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely. Run the tip of a knife around the side of the pan and lift the bar out using the parchment paper. Cut into 24 squares and serve. MAKE AHEAD The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.   recipe via food and...
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holiday recap

Last week was fantastic and exhausting. I had a blast visiting my parents and indulged in waaaayyy too many cocktails and delicious treats.  I decorated the house for my Mom, I watched my Dad and Uncle prepare endless pepperoni rolls and frittae (yea..they were as good as they look), and I visited with a lot of friends at our annual Christmas Eve party.  It was a great time.  Now, it's back to reality: early morning work outs, healthy eating, less booze and work.  BOOOO!  What are you up to this week?  Still on vacation and looking forward to New Year's Eve?...
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the holiday olympics

When I asked my husband if he liked this years mantel, he said "Yea…I guess. It looks like the holiday olympics" which is accurate and hilarious.   I took my inspiration from this photo and then put my twist on it.  I love the variety of wreathes and the different textures.  The top two wreathes (the feather wreath is my favorite!) are from West Elm.  The silver sparkle wreath was a $8 wreath from Target.  The other two were wreathes we had in the attic and my Dad spray painted them.   I'm really pleased with the final result. I'm not going to post everyday this week.  I need a break and I want to spend time with my family.  So far, the Angotti Christmas celebration has been trucking along at full speed.  Today, my Dad and Uncle are making pepperoni rolls.  Due to the weather, the fish frying is happening tomorrow.  The girls are off to see American Hustle.  It's going to be a fun...
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finally…friday!

I am so relieved it's finally friday.  My new listing is under contract (wahoo!).  I had a closing with a client that had been searching for a home for SIX YEARS. (double wahoo!) I worked with some buyers in Penn Quarter. I attended multiple holiday parties and made three batches of the salted honey and chocolate bark.   If I wasn't so obsessed with my salted honey and chocolate bark, I'd make these strawberry cheesecake bites.  YUM. I wonder if I can convince my parents that a holiday punch is a good idea for our Christmas Eve party? Would you DIY your own Christmas wrap?  I am always enthusiastic about this sort of idea. Until I start the project.  Then I want to throw everything across the room.   See you next week!...
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day dreaming | tulum, mexico

When work is stressful and the weather is freezing, I automatically start day dreaming about warm locals.  My latest is Tulum, Mexico.  How gorgeous does it look?  It's off the beaten path and has retained it's sleepy, beach town charm unlike other parts of the Mayan Riviera.  I want to stay at the Cocqui Cocqui Hotel and completely unplug.  Fingers crossed I will make this happen in the next couple of...
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holiday obsession | salted honey and chocolate bark

Every year, I make a new dessert for my "dirty santa" party.  Last year, I baked salted caramel brownies.  This year, I made salted honey and chocolate bark after a reader request (thanks for reading, Val).  I almost didn't make it.  For some reason, it had terrible reviews on epicurious.  Clearly those people were cranky because this stuff is amazing.  So good, I *might* have made two additional batches to give as gifts.  In other words, TRY THIS RECIPE and prepare to be obsessed.   salted honey and chocolate bark ingredients 12 ounces saltine or Ritz crackers (i used Ritz crackers) 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup honey 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 teaspoon baking soda 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted 1/2 cup dried tart cherries or sweetened dried cranberries (i used dried cherries) 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) Special equipment: A candy thermometer preparation Preheat oven to 350°F. Using your hands, coarsely crumble crackers onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toast in oven until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let crackers cool. Meanwhile, heat sugar, honey, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Fit saucepan with thermometer and cook, whisking frequently, until thermometer registers 300°F, 8–10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will bubble vigorously). Quickly pour mixture over crackers, spreading to coat evenly. Add cherries and hazelnuts.  Drizzle chocolate and sprinkle with salt.  Chill until chocolate is hardened, at least 10 minutes. Break bark into pieces. MAKE AHEAD: Bark can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap tightly and keep chilled. adapted from epicurious.com's recipe found here...
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‘hood happenings

links and photos top to bottom: WBJ, WCP, POP, Urban...
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riveting rooms | holiday edition

Today is the last edition of riveting room before my big reveal next week.  How will I decorate my parent's mantel?(duh dun doo..that's supposed to be dramatic music) This mantel appeals to me because it has a sense of humor.  Antlers, an owl and reindeers??  Adorable and quirky.   photo via bright...
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weekly wrap up

It's been a heck of a week.  It's snowed and DC freaked out.  Meanwhile, I was getting my new listing ready to hit the market.  That's always fun in the middle of a snow storm.  Plus holiday parties and the regular minutia of every day life.  I'm tired.  Hopefully there will be some rest and relaxation this weekend before my Open House on Sunday.  Fingers crossed. Meanwhile, a couple of things that caught my eye this week: I'm going to bake for my Dirty Santa party next week.  Chocolate Dipped Lemon Cookies?  Or Salted Honey and Chocolate Bark? This made me laugh so hard and made me miss my cat.   For all of you getting ready to have a house full of family and friends, read the ultimate survival guide to for hosting guests. What are you doing this...
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new listing! 2004 11th St., NW #325

2004 11th St, NW #325 Washington, DC 20001 1 bedroom | 1 bath 657 sf | $299 monthly condo fee list price: $395,000 My latest listing hit the market today.  It's a one bedroom, one bath condo with an open floor plan, 9' ceilings, new floors, new porcelain tiles in the foyer and bathroom, new carpet in the bedroom, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, stackable washer/dryer, and a garage parking spot. Building amenities include roof deck, court yard, exercise and party rooms. It's located steps to U St. Metro, retail and restaurants. It's also pet friendly and has a 98 walk score.  I'm having an Open House on Sunday, 12/15 from 1-4pm....
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real estate round up

links and photos top to bottom: Urban Turf, ABC News, Washington Post, Urban...
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dirty santa

Attending any dirty santa parties this year and need an affordable gift?  Here's a few that fit the bill.   1. pinch provisions minimergency kit $25 2. dog butt magnets $12 3. bar necklace $24 4. marc jacobs nail...
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