Thursday, September 27, 2018

Elton John Concert

Last weekend I saw Sir Elton John in concert at Capital One Arena for his Yellow Brick Road Farewell Tour. I thought it may be my last chance to see him live, so I was excited!

Our seats were far away (highest level, but at least center), but we could still see the show, especially when they frequently would show everything on a big screen above the stage (see the photo below). The screen also showed graphics of wild glasses (such a brilliant marketing ploy), music videos, and clips of his concerts throughout the years (I've always known him as an older man, so seeing him as a young, energetic man jumping around stage was cool).

There were FOUR drum sets!
Here are some of the songs he performed:

Tiny Dancer

Rocket Man

Bennie and the Jets

Candle in the Wind


He did not perform any of his songs from The Lion King, which was disappointing. But I understand that he may not own the rights to them. Here are some for your listening pleasure:

Circle of Life

Can You Feel the Love Tonight

*I was surprised to learn that his partner writes the lyrics and Sir Elton writes the music. I thought he did it all! So I was almost let down by that, just because the lyrics are the part that really speak to me! But of course he is still brilliant, and that is clearly a partnership made in heaven!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Recipe: Easy Pear Pie

I had a lot of pears left over from Hungry Harvest, and I knew I would never be able to eat them all before they went bad. So I found this recipe on the Num's the Word blog for an easy pear pie. And it was easy!

  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 5 cups peeled & chunked pears
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Spray a deep dish pie pan with nonstick spray.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and lemon zest. Mix well.
  4. Toss peeled and chopped pears into sugar mixture until well coated.
  5. Line a deep dish pie plate with single crust.
  6. Place pear mixture into pie crust.
  7. Dot with butter & lemon juice.
  8. Top with second pie crust and seal edges.
  9. Cut slits on the top.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 35 - 40 minutes or until crust is golden.

Since this recipe doesn't tell you to make your own pie crusts (I wouldn't have anyway, but), this recipe is SO easy. The hardest part is cutting up all the pears honestly. And it's very yummy, especially heated up with some whipped cream on top!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Recipe: Apple Hand Pies

In honor of Rosh Hashanah, I visited the Bethesda Moishe House to make apple hand pies. They were so fun and easy, and definitely tasty!

We used this recipe from


  • 1 pound prepared pie dough, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 large green apples, peeled and cored
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon water, or more if needed (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or as needed - divided


  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. Cut peeled and cored apples into quarters, cut each quarter into 3 wedges, and cut wedges into chunks.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; let butter brown to a light golden color and until butter smells toasted, about 1 minute. Stir apples into hot butter; sprinkle with salt, white sugar, and brown sugar. Cook and stir apple mixture until apples are softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in cinnamon and water; continue cooking until apples are soft and sticky, 1 to 2 more minutes. Spread apple filling onto a plate to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Form a dough piece into a ball, place on a floured work surface, and roll into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup apple filling in the center. Fold dough over filling, leaving about 1 inch of dough on the bottom side visible below the top side. Gently press dough closed around filling, using your fingertips.
  6. Fold the overhanging bottom part of the dough up over the top edge, working your way around the crust, and pinch the overhang tightly to the top part of the crust.
  7. Crimp the edge tightly closed, pinching a little bit of dough with the thumb and forefinger of one hand and using your index finger on the other hand to push a small notch into the pinched dough. Continue pinching and notching all the way around until the crust is tightly crimped together. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Transfer pies onto prepared baking sheet.
  8. Whisk egg with milk in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Brush top of each hand pie with egg mixture and sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon white sugar. Cut 3 small vent holes in the top of each pie.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until pies are golden brown and filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Since this was a group activity, I myself didn't actually do most of these steps. The dough and filling were already made by the time I showed up, so the group was really just rolling out the dough, filling it, folding it, and that was it. So maybe that's why I thought this was so easy! We made it even easier by using an empanada dough press to cut out the dough circles and then to press the pies closed. I'm not even sure we baked them that long. I thought everything went pretty quickly, and they were so yummy!

Maybe next time I'll actually help from start to finish. THEN I'll really know whether this recipe is so simple!

Monday, September 10, 2018

2018 Labor Day Weekend

For Labor Day weekend, my parents and I went up to Queens to visit my grandma in New York. We didn't have too many set plans, so we kind of played the weekend by ear.

We drove up in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday. We hit up our regular bagel place first before getting to my grandma so we could eat breakfast together. We had a relaxed morning, but wanted to get on with our day.

So we decided to visit the New York Botanical Garden. I had not been there since the winter of 2014, and I was excited to check out their Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit.

There were so many flowers in bloom, and the pollinators were all abuzz! Here are some photos:

This is a flower from a trumpet vine inside the parking lot.

I think a lot of people feed the fish, because they came right up to us when they saw our shadows in the water!
This is the fountain in front of the Mertz Library at the Garden. Notice that the horses have fins instead of hooves, and the mermaids in the water might be riding crabs because of the claws.
On Sunday, we took the train into Manhattan. We walked along the High Line, which is my favorite park in New York (I actually was living in NYC when it first opened). The flowers were not as spectacular as those from the previous day, but I still got a few nature shots:

There is a lot of wall art near the High Line, and this mural was particularly striking.

This wall art of Mother Theresa and Ghandi was amazing.

This was one of the food stalls at the park. I think "vaina" means peapod (?), but of course with my dirty mind, all I could think was that it's one letter away from lady bits.
Image found here
Afterwards we walked through Chelsea Market to do a little shopping and have lunch. It's always fun to check out the variety of shops and restaurants there. While we didn't buy much, we did have lunch at Dickson's Farmstand; I don't really eat meat, but it had one of the shortest lines, and I hate waiting in lines just out of principal. Then we went to Washington Square where there was supposedly an art fair, but when we got there nothing was happening. So we headed home and enjoyed some bubble tea instead.
This is the iconic arch at Washington Square.
That night we went to the US Open tennis tournament. I had never been, but my parents had gone several times before. My grandmother lives in Flushing, which made it very easy to get to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the night matches. We saw Sloane Stephens and Juan Martin Del Potro (or "Delpo"), so it was exciting to see some big name players. And both of them won! We watched 3-4 hours of tennis, which actually isn't too long considering how some men's matches can go on forever. Then we took the subway one stop back home.

We headed out early on Monday, but this was such a good trip. We packed a lot into a short amount of time!