Union Jacks

I’ve been waiting patiently for Union Jacks to open in Columbia. Union Jacks is a British Pub in Bethesda and Ballston, MD that is branching into Columbia. It finally just opened and in walking distance for me!

I heard that along with a large selection of beer, Union Jacks will also be focusing on their food menu. I stopped by this Friday (opening night) to give it a try. The place was super crowded for the first night. The hostess told us the kitchen was backed up, so we had to wait to get a table. As we were waiting, we wandered around to see the bar, billiard room and dining room all decked out with British flags, a Telephone booth and a Beatle’s poster. We lucked out and grabbed a seat at the bar, just as a couple was leaving.

Our bartender was very personable and asked for our drink order to start. I felt the need to go British, so I ordered an Amber ale called Jacks. The menu was a mix of American and British dishes.  I decided on the Red Thai Curry Mussels appetizer and Perry went for Crab dip that was made with parmesan and panko bread crumbs.

Proper place setting 🙂

The food came out without much wait at all. I loved my mussels, finishing every last bite and sopping up the sauce with the bread. Perry seemed very happy with the crab dip, clearing the plate as well. I can already see us becoming regulars.

On Saturday, my friends and I went down to Federal Hill, Baltimore for a St. Patrick’s Day fest and my friend Dave’s birthday celebration. It was windy and pouring out, but we still had a blast. I’m glad that I wore my rain boots!

Pub Dog Green Beer

 I was really excited for all the green drink options, but I think Stalking Horse’s green slushie won me over.

Stalking Horse Green Slushie

On Sunday, I went to the Williams & Sonoma baking class with my cousin, Bridget. Sorry no pictures! I was hesitate to take any, since it was taught in the middle of the store. Here’s a peanut butter bar recipe that was shared:

Use your favorite type of peanut butter, either creamy or chunky, to make these yummy bars.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
      at room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Before you start
Be sure an adult is nearby to help. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter, then line it with parchment paper, letting it hang over 2 sides.

Start the batter
In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and stir with a whisk until well blended. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Finish the batter
Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Turn off the mixer and add the flour-oat mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended.

Bake and cool
Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake until the top of the cookie is golden and looks firm, 25 to 30 minutes.

Ask an adult to help you remove the baking pan from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely. Lift the cookie from the pan, dust it with confectioners’ sugar and cut it into 1-by-4-inch bars. Makes 16 bars.

Peanut Butter Bars

The instructer made these bars look so easy to make- I’ll have to try the recipe myself soon!

I’m heading to Trader Joes tonight and will let you know what I find!

– Jess

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