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

* 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…


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

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

Red Currant-Orange Shrub

Every weekend during the summer, I buy too much fruit for me and Skip to consume before it turns to mush. I can freeze it, yes, but I’m notorious for putting things on a cookie sheet and placing it in the freezer–then, forgetting about it completely until I need the cookie sheet usually months later, though I did have a recent success of actually transferring frozen fruit to a container. There’s also the fruit that I don’t think will freeze all that well, like currants. Admittedly, I haven’t tried it but they seem way too delicate compared to blackberries, strawberries, or even raspberries. Well, in an attempt to quickly use up fruit in a way that didn’t involve baking (or heat of any kind), I discovered shrubs a few years ago–a crazy concoction of vinegar, sugar, and fruit that’s a complex blend of sweet and sour. Now, I have a shrub of some sort in my refrigerator at all times! 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

Gin & citrus make a new friend

Well, the last few weeks–actually all of June–have been nuts. It’s been a blur of work, work, and more work, with some travel and quality time with friends and family mixed in for sanity. But, still, too busy to allow for anything extra, including blog post, bread making, and consistent exercise. That kind of busy wears you down eventually, especially when it starts to feel like the new normal. Yesterday was a very long day; it started for me at 3:30 a.m. in Copenhagen and ended close to midnight in Seattle…oof, long day. Thankfully, it was Friday and, you know what that means: pizza and cocktails, with an added bonus of the company of our friends, Justin and Ruth. Continue reading

Cocktail Creativity

I think about work and food most of the time when I’m working out. Lately, I’ve been thinking about ice cream recipes, dessert ideas, and ideas for cocktails while listening to a book and running a few miles. No surprise then, when on Thursday, while working up a serious sweat on the treadmill, I had this idea for a cocktail—something with gin, vermouth, and the arancello rosso from Letterpress. So, once I got home, after starting some dinner prep, I tested it out, just as Skip came in the door. I told him my idea and we both realized that he’d had the same idea a week or so ago. His proportions were different than mine and I’d added a squeeze of lemon juice. My version was good but we both thought it could be better and more interesting. And, with that, our Friday night cocktail and pizza turned into cocktail development (complete with blind tasting) while the dough did its thing. Continue reading