Fall Sweets to Bake in November

Posted on November 5, 2020 by Warren Duffie

Sweet potato, pumpkin, apple—these are a few of the ingredients that flourish in the fall, so it makes sense they’d also play a starring role in your baked goods. If you’re looking for some sweet autumn treats to make this month that are a little more creative than pumpkin muffins and apple pie, try these recipes.

Gingery Sweet Potato Pie [Country Living]
The distinct addition of ginger lends a rich, complex flavor to this otherwise traditional sweet potato pie. You can make your own pie crust or buy one pre-made to cut back on prep time. Then bake about four small sweet potatoes and mash them with milk, eggs, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and, of course, sugar. Fill the pie crust with the sweet mixture, bake it, and top with homemade (or storebought) whipped cream.

Pumpkin Crisp [Delish]
Sure, pumpkin pie is delicious, but pumpkin crisp in a cast-iron skillet? You really can’t beat that. This recipe guides you in mixing together pumpkin puree, eggs pumpkin pie spice, heavy cream, and vanilla with ample amounts of sugar. Next, you’ll craft a crumbly topping using flour, brown sugar, salt, butter, and pecans. Pour the creamy mixture into a greased cast-iron skillet, sprinkle the buttery crumbs on top, and bake for about 45 minutes—then enjoy a slice a la mode.

Apple Dumpling Bake [Taste of Home]
This recipe is much easier than apple pie, and it features one unexpected ingredient: Mountain Dew. Apple slices wrapped in crescent rolls simmer in the sweet, bubbly beverage with sugar, butter, and cinnamon for about 35 minutes. The result? Flaky, golden-brown rolls bearing the perfect balance of tart Granny Smith apples and sweet soda and sugar. For an extra-delicious dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Shop Hostess Gifts, Home Decor and More at Lou Lou in Reston

Posted on by Warren Duffie

Both a quaint local boutique and an extensive online store, Lou Lou offers many options for shoppers. Its local Reston outpost is open again for in-person business, as are sister locations up and down the East Coast. But if you’re not quite ready to don your mask and shop at the store, the on-trend jewelry, clothing, and gifts are available on the website, as well.

Fast shipping means you won’t have to wait long for a gift to arrive. Treat yourself or a friend to a pair of earrings hung with slices of pastel-toned stone, or a few delicate rings shape like the ocean waves. Bring home a comfy sweater in a muted autumn pink or a cozy sherpa jacket for your fall walks. Or simply browse the giftable odds and ends, like pumpkin candles and Frasier fir–scented soap.

Sourdoughnuts: Doughnuts Delivered to Your Door at The Avant

Posted on by Warren Duffie

Great news for anyone who wants to stay home and savor a doughnut: Sourdoughnuts delivers. In fact, it almost exclusively delivers. The newly opened eatery does provide a pickup option at Herndon’s Elden Street Tea Shop on Thursdays, but other than that, your only options are to have the gluten-free doughnuts delivered to your doorstep on Fridays, Saturdays, or certain Sundays.

Treat yourself to a classic, like the powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or vanilla glaze doughnuts, or try one capped with chocolate, lemon, or strawberry icing. Depending on the season, you’ll also find a few special offerings on the menu. For fall, Sourdoughnuts is doling out pumpkin, chai, and butterbeer doughnuts. Stay tuned for eggnog, gingerbread, and chocolate cherry doughnuts in the winter. You can also try mini doughnuts, filled doughnuts, or even a gluten-free sourdough soft pretzel.

What to Stream When You Need a Break From the Everyday

Posted on August 11, 2020 by Warren Duffie

The world is changing rapidly right now, and the constant onslaught of news might be making it hard for you to unwind—especially if your home has suddenly become your workspace, too. One surefire way to recharge is to watch some good, old-fashioned mindless TV. Here are a few solid options to stream.

Arrested Development
An oldie but a goodie, Arrested Development was one of the first TV shows to pioneer the faux-documentary style. It put the approach to good use with a cast of offbeat, reliably selfish characters and an all-knowing narrator who’s mastered the tongue-in-cheek commentary. Although the show only has three original seasons, Netflix recently revived it so you can keep the streaming going for a full five seasons.

Nailed It
You’ve never seen a baking show quite like this one. Instead of sourcing its talent from a pool of top pastry chefs, Nailed It invites amateur bakers to come and show off their skills. They’re tasked with impossibly complicated baking projects, which they need to recreate in absurdly short amounts of time, and the results are hilarious. The commentary from the panel—which includes professional comedian Nicole Byers, a famed French chef, and a rotating celeb guest—only makes the baking competition that much more enjoyable.

Always Be My Maybe
This Netflix original comedy was released last year to acclaim from critics and audiences alike, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, now’s the time to tune it. It follows the story of a pair of childhood friends—one now a celebrity chef, the other content to live with his parents and pursue a floundering music career. Spoiler alert: they fall (back) in love, and Keanu Reeves also shows up.

17 Best Lighthearted Shows & Movies On Netflix When You’re Looking to Chill [Bustle]
The 25 Best Feelgood Movies on Netflix [Time Out]
The Funniest TV Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now [Thrillist]

Savor the Flavors of Spain at Barcelona Wine Bar

Posted on by Warren Duffie

This summer, consider making time to enjoy the flavors of Spain at Reston’s own Barcelona Wine Bar. This popular restaurant specializes in shareable tapas dishes, like eggplant caponata, spiced beef empanadas, and chorizo with sweet and sour figs. Choose several for everyone to share, as well as a larger main dish (chicken pimientos with lemon and hot cherry peppers is a popular option, as is the spicy seafood paella mariscos).

Want to keep it simple? Go for the chef’s choice charcuterie platter with a whole roasted branzino. Looking to feed the whole family? Keep in mind that Barcelona Wine Bar also has a kids’ menu, so the little ones can enjoy an order of crispy chicken fingers while you savor a bowl of mussels in white wine sauce. And, of course, be sure that you chose a bottle of one of the Spanish wines this place is best known for (see the full list online). Take-out and delivery are both available.


We All Scream For…Gelato

Posted on by Warren Duffie

‘Tis the season for all the cold treats, and that means it’s time for gelato! This creamy, Italian version of ice cream is served up fresh and close to home at Pitango Gelato in Reston Town Center. Locally owned and family-operated, this spot was inspired by the owner’s childhood in Italy, where his days were spent sampling all the gelato in the town of Trieste.

The real highlight and difference between Pitango Gelato and any other shop is the freshness. The shop doesn’t use any artificial ingredients or preservatives, and you can taste the difference in every bite. Serving up both gelato and sorbet, they use a partnership with a farm in Pennsylvania to get fresh grass-fed milk, eggs, and fruit that are used to craft each batch.

Another unique feature? The creative flavors! They don’t stop at the standard chocolate or vanilla. Gelato flavor features that are loved by all the regulars include cardamom, black tea, and black sesame. Sorbet favorites are minty mojito and sur del lago, which is made from cacao beans. Each batch they make is uniquely crafted with the customer experience (and taste buds) in mind. It’s a delightful way to ring in the summer season. Head to the shop for your contactless pickup this weekend!

How to Make Your Apartment Feel Like a Summer Oasis

Posted on July 16, 2020 by Warren Duffie

Summer has arrived! That means fresh, local food at the farmers’ market, warm walks in the park, and maybe even a picnic or two. It also means you should start thinking about freshening up the decor in your apartment. Here are a few simple decorating ideas to help you welcome summer into your abode.

Fresh citrus fruits and herbs galore
Love the fresh produce that pops up locally every summer? You can actually incorporate it into your decor. For instance, a cute planter full of fresh basil or mint would make the perfect centerpiece for your dining room table. A bowl filled with lemons and limes would also make a colorful statement!

Printed pillows
One of the easiest things to change up at home are your throw pillows. For summer, consider going with bright, bold patterns in the shades you associate with summer. Yellow chevron; orange checks; bright green gingham. You can also play around with nature prints—maybe lemons to match the bowl on your table!

Nature-inspired materials
Take summer as an opportunity to bring different textures into your space. Maybe a jute rug, a few pieces of wicker furniture, or even just some new houseplants.

A framed map
Dreaming of all the places you’ll be traveling to next summer? For now, satisfy your wanderlust with a physical representation of your travel plans. Frame a map of your favorite vacation destination and hang it in the living room or dining room as a reminder of the fun times to come!

Nautical or beachy accents
In place of your seaside vacation this year, spruce up your space with natural objects and nautical-themed decor like seashells, coral, or throw pillows in lobster or anchor motifs.

Enjoy Alfresco Dining at Kalypso’s Sports Tavern

Posted on by Warren Duffie

Few outdoor dining options in Reston can rival the expansive space that Kalypso’s Sports Tavern offers. The lakefront patio seats about 75 people, and offers gorgeous views of the water while you take advantage of a safer, distanced dining experience. Plus, there is just something special about enjoying the restaurant’s Mediterranean fare while you’re sitting right on Lake Anne. Mixed grill platters, gyros, and kebabs taste so authentic that you could imagine you’re at a seaside resort for a mini getaway. Kalypso’s Sports Tavern is also known for a busy events calendar, with practically every day of the week booked with a karaoke session, trivia game night, or free dance lessons.

When you want to eat well and be thoroughly entertained, Kalypso’s Sports Tavern is the place to go. Carryout and curbside pick-up are also available if you’re not ready to dine in. Visit the website to preview the menu, make a reservation, or check the live music calendar.

Tee Off This Summer at The Reston National Golf Course

Posted on by Warren Duffie

Reston National Golf Course sure has everything you want in a championship course: expert design and hole placement courtesy of famed course architect Ed Ault. Quiet trails, challenging traps, and well-kept greens. An on-site driving range and practice facility, plus the grill to grab a quick bite to eat. Reston National Golf Course is practically the only course you need to golf this summer. It’s a favorite for all types of golfers, with its convenient location off the DC Beltway on the Dulles Loop, and a full 18 holes from the back tees.

If you like to treat a day of golfing like a mini escape from daily life, the Reston National Golf Course is for you. Book a tee time directly from the website, or learn more about how you can become a member of this prestigious facility. Or consider Reston National Golf Course for your next group or corporate outing this summer. The course has the expert staff and impressive greens to make your event a success.

Must-Haves for Your First Warm-Weather Run

Posted on May 23, 2020 by Warren Duffie

With the weather getting warmer and warmer every day, you might be starting to take your workout routine outside on a regular basis. Here’s what you need to stay safe and comfortable while you’re exercising outdoors.

  1. Lightweight, sweat-wicking layers. Since spring bridges the gap between winter and summer, its weather can be somewhat unpredictable in terms of temperature. Make sure you’re ready for whatever awaits you outside by dressing in breathable layers, including a lightweight spring jacket. That way you can simply shed layers if it ends up being a warmer run, but you won’t be left shivering if it’s a little chilly on any given morning. Make sure your layers are sweat-wicking to avoid skin irritation.

  2. A hat or sunglasses. You’ll probably want to enjoy as much of that spring sunshine as possible! But maybe not when it starts to make you squint. Keep the sun off your face by donning a sweat-wicking hat or tossing on a pair of athletic sunglasses. Make sure the glasses fit well so they don’t slide down your nose as you run.

  3. Waterproof sunscreen. Before you put on those glasses, make sure you apply a layer of sunscreen! Even when it’s not particularly hot, your skin can still be damaged by the sun—and who wants to deal with a sunburn before summer even hits? Find a waterproof sunscreen that can withstand sweating, and stick with SPF 30 or higher.

  4. A handheld water bottle or water belt. Staying hydrated is super important any time you exercise, but even more so as the temperatures begin to rise. Make sure you take along plenty of water for your journey! Opt for a handheld water bottle, a CamelBak you carry on your back, or a water belt outfitted with several smaller water flasks.

5 Hot Weather Running Gear Tips [Active]
Outdoor Products to Promote Safety While Exercising [Very Well Fit]
The 7 Best Handheld Running Bottles of 2020 [Very Well Fit]