Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Highlight Reel: 08-14 August

The Dog Days of Summer.  As in the “hot as a dog” or “sweating like a dog” sense, not in the literal “Sirius rises with the Sun” sense. Yeah, it was one of those weeks. From Tuesday evening onward, I generally dreaded the thought of going outside. So I more or less did not.

Our plan to attend the annual Route 11 Yard Crawl on Saturday was foiled by a heat index of 108° F, so we instead went to Upton Hill Park. Who knew there were water slides only 10 minutes from home?!  And for only $8.50/person!! Or $12 with batting cages and mini golf!!!

In the Gym

Despite Metro delays causing me to miss meeting up with my Dojo crew on Tuesday, I decided to give running outside another go. Big Mistake. Before my first interval was done, I could feel the humidity taking its toll. By the time I finished, my shoes and shorts looked as though I’d just forded a river Oregon Trail style. Oof.

With Thursday’s temperature even hotter, I thought better of running outside and instead did my tempo on the treadmill. Despite still feeling the effects of Tuesday’s debacle, I got through over 12 miles, eight at marathon pace. Not a bad way to start the day.

With the heat increasing over the weekend, I resorted to shorter trainer rides instead of my usual Sunday Sufferfest. Kinomap made Sunday’s effort decidedly more interesting than a structured (i.e. ergometer) workout, perhaps enough so that I’ll sign up for a subscription.

My actual gym work has been quite limited for the past couple of weeks. My efforts to work around/push through a bout of tennis elbow proved ill-advised, and I made the condition worse. I finally got a brace on Saturday, and I’m being a lot more careful in my day-to-day activities. I’m optimistic it will clear up soon, but I’m taking it VERY easy until that proves out.

In the Kitchen

In 2016, if you cook but don’t Instagram it, did it really happen? Regardless, we did just that pretty much all week. Well, apart from Tuesday, when we got &pizza after happy hour (which I actually Instagrammed).

On Wednesday, The Missus surprised me with cheesesteaks when I got home. Apparently she got a whiff of fried onions on her way home and made a beeline to the Giant for cheesesteak supplies. Her impulsive nature finally paid off!

Our other meals were decidedly less memorable, so I’ll spare you the discussion.

At the Bar

Our friend and favorite bartender took a new post at DGS Delicatessen a few months back. We kept meaning to visit at his new haunt, but we’re terrible people creatures of habit. We finally made it on Tuesday, and it was a reminder of why we like him so much. What’s not to love about delicious, creative drinks and attentive, smiling service?

A place with “deli” in the name might not be the first place you think of when you want good drinks, but it’s worth a visit!

When your bartender friend hasn't seen you in a while

A photo posted by Edward (@virtueandvices) on

We were excited to check out the U.S. Bartender Guild’s 5th Annual Rum Day celebration at Jack Rose on Sunday. Unfortunately, it was on the open rooftop. And as previously mentioned, it’s really f-ing hot right now. There was one air-conditioned space, but it was loud and crowded, so we bounced after about 30 minutes. Sunk c0sts, ya know?

Not to be deterred from some weekend festivities, I decided to get crafty at home. The Missus had mentioned enjoying a Kentucky Mule while she was out the other week, so I decided to put my own touch on it. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

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The Highlight Reel: 01-07 August

Finally a week with no after-hours work commitments!  Coming home at a reasonable hour may not be good for business, but it’s great for the soul.

The easy schedule allowed a long-overdue date night for The Missus and me.  On Thursday, after a casual happy hour at Fuego in Clarendon and a brief stop at Cava, we went to see Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS in Tysons.  All Cirque shows are weird, but this is decidedly the weirdest of the five I’ve attended.  Given the subtitle (“cabinet of curiosities”), I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.  Regardless, it was a truly remarkable performance.  If I watched it for seven consecutive days, I’m confident I’d still come away astounded.

On Saturday, The Missus and I had some more time out together at Slide the City, also in Tysons.  The event was supposed to be held three weeks ago, but some degree of incompetence on the organizers’ part led to a last-minute postponement. Despite a thoroughly unimpressive hill, it was a lot of fun. Plus, it gave me a reason to try my hand at video editing.

Just a little summer fun with @mydudlik at @slidethecity

A video posted by Edward (@virtueandvices) on

In the gym

It was supposed to be relatively cool on Monday, so I got it in my head that I would bike to and from work. It’s about ten miles each way, with the return trip more or less entirely (if gradually) uphill. Unfortunately, the collective might of meteorologists can’t predict DC temperatures even eight hours in advance, and it was actually another stiflingly hot, humid day. Sweat was practically pouring off my nose every time I looked down on my way home, even at an easy pace.

Fortunately, Monday’s antics had no effect on my Tuesday interval session. 5 × 1-mile intervals at 5k pace (on the treadmill) proved no harder than 6 × 1200m at a similar pace last week. Woo hoo!

Even more exciting, I actually got to run outside on Thursday. I was ready for a serious “reality is harder than a treadmill” slap in the face, but I actually went faster on the road than I had been doing indoors. Go figure.

In the kitchen

Fewer after-work commitments mean more cooking at home.  This section is thus longer than usual.

After poking around the fridge to see what we had on Monday, I settled on pork chops and brussels sprouts.  Using this recipe as a rough guide, I slapped together the following:

Maple-glazed pork chop with bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts

A photo posted by Edward (@virtueandvices) on

The following day, The Missus decided she was too tired to cook…moments after she saw a Taco Bell commercial. I’m sure that was just a coincidence.

The siren call of novelty food is as strong as it is hazardous—I ate the same thing and almost immediately felt ill.

Not to be easily dissuaded from faux-Mexican, I decided to give this a go on Wednesday, and it was GOOD!

Enchilada Casserole

On our trip back from Slide the City, The Missus saw or smelled Chinese food and immediately began craving it. She soon informed me, repeatedly, that Pizza Hut would also suffice, thanks to a constant barrage of commercials during the Olympics. Do you see what I have to deal with?

Rather than cave (I learned my lesson from Taco Bell Tuesday), I decided I’d make fried rice at home. The Serious Eats guide is on point—this was some of the best fried rice we’ve ever had! So good that we didn’t even take photos, nor was there any leftovers. Delicious AND easy?! This one will be going into regular rotation.

Despite my loving breakfast food, we rarely make breakfast at home. With a long bike ride planned for Sunday, I figured a prep-ahead meal was a good way of getting my breakfast fix while still accommodating my workout.  Smitten Kitchen’s blueberry bread pudding had been open in my browser for a couple of weeks, so I figured I’d give it a go.  Quick, easy, and good if not great.  I’ve got some tweaks in mind if I decide to do it again.

Blueberry bread pudding

At the bar

After a four-hour bike ride made harder by some as-yet undiagnosed mechanical issue, I was ready for a late-day refresher. I came up with this, the Ivy City Blues.

Around the Interwebs

Ivy City Blues

On a hot, summer days, sometimes even I don’t want whiskey. When that happens, my typical go-to spirit is gin. Today was no exception.

This cocktail is light and refreshing with a hint of fruit from the muddled blueberries, perfect after a long day. Enjoy.

Ivy City Blues
Print Recipe
Ivy City Blues
Print Recipe
  1. In a large mixing glass, muddle blueberries and simple syrup
  2. Add ice and remaining ingredients
  3. Stir until well-diluted, about 20 seconds
  4. Strain into rocks glass and garnish with fresh blueberries
Recipe Notes

For a sweeter, fruiter drink, increase the quantity of blueberries and simple in step one.

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The Highlight Reel: 25-31 July

What a week! Busy days, busy evenings, and Metro Safety Surge made for some generally hectic days. Not to mention the Metro train that derailed on Friday, throwing the Orange line into further disarray. But hectic isn’t all bad, and this week was generally a good one.

In the gym…

With a heat index well over 100 degrees F almost every day, I was relegated to running (and generally remaining) inside. Like pretty much every week, my running routine involved intervals on Tuesday, tempo on Thursday.  To so-called “normal” people, the idea of running 12 miles on a treadmill is torture, but I like it fine, if only for hard workouts. The experience is somehow more palatable when suffering outweighs the boredom.

My one attempt at a run outdoors on Saturday morning validated my preference for the dreadmill in this heat.  I survived all of 30 minutes before returning home and switching to the bike trainer.

On Sunday, the Missus and I attempted a ride to DC to grab lunch.  It was hotter than we bargained for, and she found herself woefully dehydrated by the time we got to Rosslyn.  Perhaps a planned ten-mile ride was not the best idea for someone who hadn’t ridden her bike in a couple of years…

Oh, and I did some deadlifts for the first time in at least two months.  That was embarrassing.

In the kitchen…

All these busy evenings have really put a damper on our cooking. The Missus perfectly cooked up some chicken Monday to top off our favorite Trader Joe’s salad kit.


Apart from that, it was take-out or eating out pretty much all week. (Insert embarrassed emoji here).  I tried to make up for it Sunday, though, by both cooking AND baking.

For dinner, I tried this chicken parmesan meatball casserole from Buns In My Oven.  Healthy, right?  Pretty easy and tasty, but I think it could have used more seasoning and maybe some heat.  Red pepper flakes to the rescue!

My baking experiment was a slight modification of Simply Recipes’ peaches and cream cake.  Slightly modified in that mine isn’t large enough to feed an army.  I confess to not having eaten any yet apart from the scraps, so I’ll have to report back later on the taste.

At the bar…

We headed to Ivy City on Saturday for a visit to One Eight Distilling.   It should have been a tour and tastings, but they’re doing semi-unplanned construction.  As a result, our tour was replaced with an extra cocktail.  Winning!

Just a little local tourism… @oneeightd

A photo posted by Edward (@virtueandvices) on

I was really impressed with the quality of One Eight’s vodka and gin.  I generally dislike vodka, bland blank canvas that it is, but theirs actually has a refreshing flavor.  The gin was similarly light and refreshing, not the overly junipery mess of others I’ve tried (looking at you, Blue Coat).

Feeling inspired by our visit, I later decided to get creative at my home bar.  The result: my After-Dinner Old Fashioned