Monthly Archives: February 2011

Catoctin Creek

Andrés & I visited the Catocin Creek Distillery in Purceville, Virginia this morning for their bottling day. We learned how to bottle, cap, seal, & label whisky.

We each took a take a turn on the whisky cow, filling the bottles, which were then corked & sealed.

We then pressed the labels on to the front & back of the bottles. All the volunteers could sign the labels, giving each bottle a personal touch.

We then toured the distillery & saw the fermenting rye.

This is me, modeling the finished product.

& Andrés doing a far better job. Also, he wants me to note that his jacket was not purple, it was in fact light gray – the Retro Camera app on my phone altered it. I think he looks pretty in purple.


Because I love her.

My mom is adorable. She’s tiny – pocket-sized, actually. I’m almost twice her size. I like to pick her up & carry her around the house.

She also loves to sew. She has since she was a little girl. She quilts, sews, cross stiches.

She has cupboards & cupboards filled with fabric. At least three sewing machines. Thimbles, pins & needles, buttons, measuring tape & orange handled scissors. As she likes to say, “I cut up perfectly good fabric & sew it back together again!”

She even has a red tomato to hold her pins.

She’s a homemaker. She cooks from scratch & she mends clothes. She was a Sunday-school-teaching, lunch-packing, mini-van-driving, soccer mom for many years. She’s a classy lady in a June Cleaver meets Bree Van De Kamp way.

She says she’ll never get a tattoo, because, while she admires the workmanship, “even a sweet little button in a hidden spot would be a frightening event for me.” So, when I get bored, I send her pictures like these of women with sewing related tattoos, just to watch her squirm. Because I love her.

Wine Pairing

I think my sister B & I should start having wine & cheese nights. Maybe while we watch Desperate Housewives on Sunday nights a few times a month. I found a wine pairing chart… how delicious does a Chardonnay with a platter of Havarti, mozzarella, Muenster, & Provolone sound? Or a full-bodied earthy Merlot with aged cheddar & aged Gouda?

Credit: wine & cheese picture; wine pairing chart.

Andrés won’t let us move to the ghetto.

Andrés made a huge mistake in showing me HUGE.

Before even telling me what website he was looking at homes on, he make me promise not to email him links. I promised. Then I broke that promise because I found this UH.MAZE.ING condo. (Don’t worry, I did NOT break an an Eternally Binding Pinky Swear.)

It’s in the city, close to where he works, close to where I work. It’s a skip & a hop from the metro.

The updated kitchen has stainless steel appliances, large granite counter tops, & TONS of natural light.

The bathroom has ceramic tiles, a window (which I think is awesome), cabinet storage, & shelving. OH, & DID I MENTION JETS IN THE BATH TUB?

The condo has two bedrooms, new hardwood flooring, crown molding, recessed lighting, & a washer & dryer in unit.

It’s in a gated community.

Also? It’s less than $100,000.

I love this condo. I love it so much I want to marry it.

But Andrés has vetoed it.

Why? Why did my handsome, adoring boyfriend veto my dream condo?

Because it’s in a rough area of Southeast DC. During the last thirty days, within 1,000 feet of this condo, there has been one reported homicide, one reported sexual abuse, one assult with a deadly weapon, two buglary charges, & one theft.

Andrés says I’ll stand out, & not in a good way – more of a fresh meat kind of way. He grew up in Queens, NYC & in Charlestown, Boston (the area the movie The Town is based on). I guess that means he knows things about ghetto neighborhoods.

I hate the idea that one is “too good” for something, & I don’t think I’m too good for this neighborhood. If everyone had attitudes like that, the neighborhood would never improve, & that breaks my heart. But Andrés made the very convincing point that he won’t be around all the time to walk me home from the metro when it gets dark at like 5:30 & I’m too scared.

I guess this is not the perfect condo for us.

Colorful Condo

I love this 650 square foot condo in Vancouver featured on Style at Home.

So many neutrals with serious pops of color & texture. It’s like a blank palate because these colors could be switched easily out for a totally different feel.

Even though the area is small, I’m loving the huge amounts of natural light.

The big mirror helps bounce the light around the room, & makes the dining area feel decadent. The chandelier is classy, but a little “safe” in my opinion.

Loving the openness of the kitchen, the stainless steel appliances, the open shelving, & all the flowers.

This bedroom is amazing. I love how bold she went with it – the geographic sheets, the sleek table lamp, the the bright magenta being repeated & drawing the eye down.

Braided Cheese Bread

On Sunday I made this cheese bread while Andrés was at practice. It was delicious, but it did take while because the dough had to rise twice. The bottom was nice & crusty, which Andrés loves.

Makes 2 loaves


  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese


In mixer bowl, combine 1.5 cups flour with the sugar, yeast, and salt. Heat water and milk to 120 degrees F, and add to dry ingredients. Beat for 3 minutes, and add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead in cheese, 1/2 cup at a time. Place kneaded dough into a bowl, cover with a wet tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled.

Punch dough down and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-14 inch rope. Braid three ropes together and place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining three ropes. Cover braids and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with additional cheese.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack.

Recipe from: The Frugal Girl