Kitchen & Soda

Our kitchen is complete—to be fair, it has been for months, I’m just slow in posting (with lots of pictures)! We’ve already had many pizza nights with friends, family, or just the two of us. And, I’ve made many loaves of bread. It’s such a great space; it turned out beautifully. The light throughout the day is one of my favorite things, all the windows and openness of the kitchen makes me so very happy. We’ve still got pictures and art to put on the wall, a rather large window to upgrade, and rooms to finish in other parts of the house, but the kitchen is perfect. Continue reading

Little Rum, Little Love

Exploring vacant land options, looking at existing houses, and thinking about all of the what ifs, how-tos, and complications of all of it has been an all-encompassing distraction. This has been like planning the biggest, most expensive wedding ever–not good for work productivity or any other aspects of life outside of this crazy event. Thankfully, we had great architects who have helped us think through permits and building options, as well as explore the endless modifications to existing homes (and the realities of our budget). We also have two wonderful real estate agents, one of whom we’ve worked with through the buy and sale of the last two homes and been friends with for years. This process would be insane without all of them. And, much to our (or maybe, my) surprise, we fell in love with a house on a hill in West Seattle–it’s got a yard for the pup, a view that’s hard to beat, and pretty great mid-century style. So, we bought a house! What??!? Yes, we bought a house. It hasn’t really sunk in yet and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. It’s all crazy, and it’s all exciting, and now it feels like the whole process is taking forever. This house is near-perfect and needs a little work to get it there for us; there will still be decisions and dust in our future. The last year has been roller coaster of ‘we’re remodeling’, ‘we’re selling’, ‘we’re building’, ‘we’re buying’, and, in the end, back to ‘we’re remodeling.’ Phew, bonkers!

Now I’m going to take a little break from thinking about the house, enjoy the long, sunny (**Finally!**) Memorial day weekend, and enjoy a little cocktail.

IMG_4286editLittle Rum, Little Love
Tools & Extras: Cocktail shaker, coupe glass

3/4 oz. Fresh lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. Simple syrup
1/4 oz. Campari
1 1/2 oz. Dark Rum
1 oz. Amaro Amorino (the newest release from Letterpress–and it’s delicious!)
Few dashes of Angostura Bitters
Grapefruit twist & a Luxardo Maraschino cherry

Details:
* Add the first six ingredients to a cocktail shaker; fill with ice and shake for 30 seconds.
* Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Twist or press the grapefruit peel over the cocktail to express the oil from the peel on the drink.
* Wrap the peel around a cocktail pick with a delicious little cherry.
* Enjoy while planning your long weekend…

 

A turkey walks into a bar…

Uh, it’s almost Thanksgiving! This month is almost over–and it’s a complete blur. The month started with a work trip and ends with a fun trip to spend time with our close friends, with the shock of the election in between. Everything else is a bit fuzzy and happened quickly. I haven’t posted much this month and my ‘Cookbook Sunday Dinner’ just went right out the window since I’ve been traveling or had other plans–like attending a party to celebrate the opening of a lovely new restaurant in Seattle owned by two of the nicest guys around. Tonight is the only Sunday I’m home, with only spending time with Skip and (eventually) actual work work to do. It’s a rainy, almost winter day, and being home is a wonderful place to be! Continue reading

Friends, family, & whiskey

Skip and I spent the last couple of weeks in Kentucky and Tennessee—it was hot and familiar. The first week of our trip also happened to include Skip’s birthday, which was the first full day we were in Kentucky; so, what better way to celebrate his birthday than with whiskey? We started the day with a stop at Waffle House for a birthday breakfast then, headed to the Jim Beam Stillhouse in Clermont, Kentucky. We learned a little history about Jim Beam; it all started in the late 1700s when a German immigrant, Jacob Beam, made and sold corn whiskey. Centuries later, we have bourbon and Jim Beam makes an insane volume of product—they are the largest bourbon maker in the world. We also popped over to Willett, small by Kentucky standards but high-volume in comparison to Letterpress. We topped off Skip’s birthday day with a fabulous dinner at Decca in Louisville with some of the best fried green tomatoes I’ve ever had, followed by cocktails at The Silver Dollar.  I’d say that Skip had a pretty good birthday!

The rest of the week included visits to Wild Turkey, Heaven Hill, Maker’s Mark, and Kentucky Peerless Distilling, along with a quick stop at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, Kentucky. All of the tours were entertaining and the guides were very friendly, we learned a few things and tasted a lot of whiskey! We even managed to squeeze in a day touring a couple of distilleries with some friends who joined us for the day from Cincinnati.

Continue reading

Hot day, cold drink

Wow, it’s warm in Seattle this week! Now, this doesn’t happen that often, and the Southerner in me laughs at the idea that this is hot but…it’s 92 degrees and we DON’T HAVE AIR-CONDITIONING, only a couple of fans. Yes, it’s not humid and the temperature will cool down late at night, allowing me to sleep. But, while I’m awake, the sun is shining, it is hot. Continue reading

Love & Cocktails

Skip and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary last week in Big Sky, Montana. I was there for work and he joined me mid-week to celebrate our anniversary with a visit to Yellowstone and a delicious dinner at the Rainbow Ranch Lodge. This was my first trip to Montana and to Yellowstone; it was warm, sunny, and breathtaking. We only saw a tiny portion, mostly the geyser basin, of the park but it was enough to make me want to go back! The highlight of that visit was, by far, the Grand Prismatic Pools—you need to see these, and please, for the love of God, follow the rules and stay on the walk way. Seriously.

When we got married, we tried to do lots of little things that made our wedding reflective of who we are and what mattered to us. Skip’s ‘best man’ was his close friend, Katy; my ‘maid of honor’ was my man of honor, my oldest nephew, Wes. Our ring bearer was our beloved border collie, Oliver, who even wore a tie to the ceremony. Our wedding favors were cookie versions of a fungus plush toy from Giant Microbes made by my talented friend, Lori Trammel; the actual toy was from our engagement and served as our ring pillow. There’s a whole story behind that little fuzzy fungus that I’ll tell you one day! Our close friend, Chris, performed the ceremony.

Our cake topper comprised two handmade figurines–Oliver with a top hat and bowtie and Cricket, my little calico, wearing a veil and daisies. Cricket, unlike Oliver, was not known for her people skills and would not  have enjoyed being at the party for real but she, of course, needed to be part of it! And, two good friends, Elizabeth Lowry and Nathan Yee, were our photographers. Friends and family from all over the country joined us to laugh (lots of laughter), cry, and celebrate. Oh, it was wonderful!

We had a cocktail hour before (& after, of course) the ceremony so that our wonderful guests would have a cocktail in hand while we said our vows. The bride’s cocktail was a basil gimlet and the groom’s cocktail was a take on a Manhattan—guess this was sort of our version of a ‘wedding cake’ and a ‘groom’s cake’. These cocktails put a smile on my face when I make them and remind of the day I put on a fancy dress, had a crazy fancy party, and married my best friend.

The Bride’s Cocktail: Basil Gimlet
Tools & Extras:
Boston shaker, coupe glass

2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Basil simple syrup*
1 oz. Lime juice
Basil leaf

Details:

  • Add everything but the basil leaf to a cocktail shaker.
  • Fill with ice & shake for 30 seconds.
  • Strain into a chilled coupe glass & garnish with a basil leaf.

*Basil simple syrup: Mix 1 C granulated sugar with 1 C water; boil to dissolve the sugar. Once the the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and lightly crush 10-12 basil leaves and add to the syrup. Steep for 10 minutes; strain into a clean jar and store in the refrigerator for 1 month.

The Groom’s Cocktail: Manhattan, Sort of but not really
Tools & Extras:
Cocktail mixing glass, bar spoon, old fashion glass, ice ball or large chunk of ice 

1.5 oz. Rye Whiskey
1.5 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth
Dash Orange bitters
Orange rind & brandied cherry

Details:

  • Add everything but the orange rind & brandied cherry to a cocktail mixing glass.
  • Fill with ice & stir for 30 seconds.
  • Strain into a chilled old fashion glass with an ice ball & garnish with a orange rind & cherry.

Shrub-Gin Sour & The Scottish Ruby

In case you haven’t noticed, I really enjoy experimenting with cocktails and playing with flavors. For your drinking pleasure, I’d like to share some shrub-love with you. I recently made the red currant-orange shrub, and as I mentioned in the related post, we’ve gone through it so quickly. It was a hands-down hit with Skip and company! Well, the vibrant color and tart, citrus flavor has given me lots of ideas for cocktails that are beautiful to look at and so very tasty. Enjoy! Continue reading

The Swoop (a cocktail experiment success!)

June was a blur, I know I’ve mentioned that before, but I can’t believe it’s July already–it doesn’t look like the weather around here believes it either, unfortunately. The weather looks anything but summery the next couple of days. Work-wise, the next month should be a little breather from the craziness of the last few months before the remaining craziness starts for the second half of the year. Oh, and I have a lovely bright pink stripe in my hair now, too, and that makes me smile every time I look in the mirror. Seriously, every time.  Continue reading