Casual Thursday: Pumpkin Overload

Now that fall is in full swing, pumpkin spice is impossible to escape. From lattes and bagels to soup and bread (and of course pumpkin pie), it has firmly cemented itself as the spice of the season. And because we love fall and everything that goes with it, we figured we’d play along. This Thursday, in honor of the week being (almost) over, we’re celebrating all things pumpkin.

There’s no better (or more festive) way to relax at the end of a long week than with a pumpkin beer. Almost every brewery puts out their own version, but Harpoon puts out some of our favorites. They put out two different options – a pumpkin-spiced version of their UFO (a wheat beer) and a pumpkin cider. Both are great beers, not too expensive, and can be found at our local grocery and liquor stores.

In the mood for something a little fancier than beer? Try making a Pumpkin Pie Old Fashioned with squash-infused whiskey and a syrup made of brown sugar, cloves and cinnamon. Then come share it with us.

It wouldn’t be fall without a few Jack O’Lanterns around, so pick up a pumpkin and get to carving. You can find pumpkins all over the place, from Safeway and Trader Joe’s to Red Square (Relay For Life is selling pumpkins as a fundraiser). You can go with the classic Jack O’Lantern face, or go for something a tad more extreme.

If you’d rather stick beer inside a pumpkin than a candle, you can also make a pumpkin keg for your next party. After you gut your pumpkin, throw the seeds in the oven with a little olive oil and salt for a toasted pumpkin seed snack.

Stay casual, Hoyas.

Photos: domestocrat.wordpress.com, Flickr user micki_hills

Off Campus Study Spotlight: Baked & Wired

Midterm season is in full swing. Lau is packed, your housemates are antsy, and Regents doesn’t have an open plug. Great. How where is there to study? Off campus, of course. And why not study while eating Georgetown’s best cupcake and sipping on some awesome hot cider? Baked & Wired, also known as the most popular off-the-beaten-path place in Georgetown is the perfect place to catch up on readings and study for quizzes.

The tip jar reads “need laser gun to take over the world.” Don’t we all, don’t we all my friends. Come baked to get wired or wired to get baked, whatever your needs may be Baked & Wired will heed to your desires (not encouraging anything  illegal here, please). Hidden on a side street the infamous pink bike out front will tip you off to its locale. Some might say the place is a bit quirky, but I think of it as a touch of charm. Take the décor, one wall is covered with napkins that people have written on; everyone can be artist and interior decorator all in one!  It has a very loungey, cute coffeehouse on the corner feel. It can get a little loud, but if you don’t have Lau 4-type needs, you should be okay studying here.

As you walk towards the food counter an employee boasts the ‘hippie crack’ granola, and motions for all to try it. Samples anyone? It’s so good it’ll turn us all into addicts. I can’t tell if I mind or not. The cupcakes at Baked & Wired are definitely the main attraction. My personal favorite was the Beesting, a mix of shortbread and honey almonds. They also have vegan and gluten free options for those of us that so desire, or so necessitate. The cupcakes are pretty big, so bring a friend to share. There’s nothing better than bonding over a (sugar) high. Sorry, that’s the second drug reference in this article. Baked & Wired is just that good. Head over after a day of shopping at nearby Urban Outfitters to replete your energy reserves. We know how hard it is to try on clothing, reward yourself!

If you’re looking for a coffee fix, head into the second room where drinks are brewed to perfection. Also, grab some free water to hydrate. There’s plenty of seating but if you’re looking to enjoy the last rays before a dreary winter sets in, head down to the waterfront only a minute’s walk away. There’s something to be said for enjoying a cupcake on the water, the breeze in your hair. Fancy yourself on vacation, I know I always do.

Baked & Wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

Photo credit: http://iambakedandwired.tumblr.com/post/11342753464/the-site-will-be-up-and-running-soon-we-are