Inspired by Life

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oven-Roasted Mushrooms

I am finally catching up on posting my Christmas Dinner recipes. We had a wonderful dinner at our home with the Kachers. It was lovely to have our home decorated and ready to share with our dear friends. I may have been a bit too enthusiastic about our dinner menu but it was great to have so many delicious options, so no one complained :) 

If you like mushrooms, you will love this recipe. If you don't like mushroom, you will start to like them after you eat this recipe. Case in point: Bonnie Kacher. Not a lover of mushrooms. Converted after eating these. Maybe not all the way but she said she would eat these again. So that is progress, right? 

This is so easy to make and you will wow your guests. 


  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, cleaned
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the mushrooms, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a shallow baking pan. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Scatter the butter evenly over the top and roast until the mushrooms are golden, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle over the parsley. Serve warm.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Presidential Inauguration

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” 

Today, the President of the United States was sworn in for another four years. Democracy at its finest. The people had spoken and Pres. Obama won the race.  If there was anyone who understood the responsibilities of the day, it was the president. The responsibility lies squarely on his shoulders and he has another four years to fulfill his promises. It is an impressive achievement to become the President of the United States not just once but twice. It is wonderful to be living in the DC Metro area and feel the excitement of the nation as this historic event comes to pass.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

In keeping with the commitment to the Year of Adventure 2013, I ventured out to visit this place that had been on my list of places to visit for over a year now. Unwilling to let the cold weather deter me, I set out to conquer DC traffic.  It was, surprisingly, easy to find and there was tons of free parking. Fabulous! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Herb-Crusted Rib Roast

I must secretly enjoy trying out new recipes on unsuspecting dinner guests because that was exactly what I did to our Christmas dinner guests. Thanks to Martha Stewart, this recipe was a hit!

I have never made a roast more moist or more delicious! I tweaked the recipe a bit, of course, but in the end, I was very pleased with how it turned out and so were our guests.  If this seems daunting, just relax. This was my first time making a roast and it was not bad at all.

So, here you go!

Christmas at Union Station

For sixteen years, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the people of Norway have given Washington DC a 30-foot Christmas Tree as a symbol of friendship for the assistance received during and after World War II. This tree is then lit at Union Station and a beautiful Norwegian-inspired holiday train setting is displayed.

This has been a longstanding tradition at Union Station and one that would continue for a long time, I would imagine. Union Station is a beautiful building with stunning architecture and a commanding presence.  I loved seeing the decorations, albeit minimal, this year. There is something magical about Christmas lights.  Here are some photos of Union Station reflecting the Christmas spirit.

Union Station Holiday Train Display

Each holiday season, the folks in DC and surrounding areas look forward to the city being filled with festivities and entertainment for the whole family. One has to meticulously plan out their calendar in order to attend as many events as they can and take advantage of the free displays. I highly doubt that even with all the careful planning, one could see ALL there is to see in one month! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Natural History Museum - Nature's Best Photography

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” 

Taken by Lee Slabber, Cape Town, South Africa

For our final exhibit at the Natural History Museum, we wandered into Nature's Best Photography. Out of 20,000 entries, these images were the finalists.  They are incredible!
Enough said.

Natural History Museum - Titanoboa

“There is nothing to be feared from a body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness. Lord Voldemort, who of course secretly fears both, disagrees. But once again he reveals his own lack of wisdom. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” 

A graduate student at the University of Florida, studying vertebrate paleontology, whose major focus is crocodilians, was working on some fossils that were labeled crocodile, when he came across a flattened vertebra that did not look quite like the other fossils he had been working with. Alex Hastings, the student, called a colleague to confirm his suspicions that this was more of a snake vertebra rather than a crocodile. Only, there was something different about this vertebra—it was massive! If this was, indeed a snake vertebra, it had to be the world's largest snake!

Natural History Museum - Korea Gallery

"Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures."
~ Cesar Chavez

Happy New Year!! 2013! Can you believe it?

Our New Year started off on the right foot...well, literally. After a delicious breakfast of oatmeal with lots of yummy things added to it, Aaron and I set off on our year of adventure - well, at least the day. Hey, that should be the title of our goal - Our Year of Adventure! I digress. 

New Year. New Beginnings.

As I gaze out my window and watch two energetic squirrels chase each other through the trees that are swaying in the cold breeze, I am excited for this new year. I am always excited for new beginnings.  The promise that a new year brings is exhilarating and filled with a commitment to forge a new future for oneself.  Looking back, 2012 was filled with trials, triumphs and a new home! 

Aaron and I purchased our first house in December and I am looking forward to making it a home—a sanctuary, a space that will hold all our love and warmth and freely share it with those who enter its doors.   Is it possible for home to be a person and a place? If so, Aaron is my home. My place of comfort.  My space to exhale. I am blessed to have this wonderful man in my life who makes me laugh and makes my heart soar.
This blog is a new space to capture the journey that we have embarked on together, to record the memories that will one day be shared at the dinner table, to safely store the words that echo the loaded feelings of every experience.
I am excited for the things that this year might bring.