Archive | December, 2009

Holiday Cocktails

29 Dec

The holidays aren’t quite over yet, friends, which means there’s still time for holiday cocktail making.  This year, in addition to the requisite New Year’s Eve champagne, why not try something a little different?  I recommend a Scarlet Pimpernel, which I learned how to make at the fabulous Andersonville foodie haven “The Chopping Block” in Chicago.  I love this addition of balsamic vinegar to this otherwise sweet and mellow drink– it gives it a nice little kick at the end.

1 1/2 parts Citron Flavored Vodka
1 1/2 parts cranberry juice
6 fresh strawberries 
1/2 part Vermouth
Bar spoon of 20 year-old balsamic vinegar

In a cocktail shaker, muddle strawberries before adding remaining ingredients. Shake vigoriously and double strain into a martini glass. Garnish with strawberries.

mixing Pimpernels at The Chopping Block


Ode to a Full Calendar Year in Knoxville

28 Dec

Two Last Minute Gift Ideas

23 Dec

Stamp Set from Yellow Owl Workshop, $30

TOMS Red Wrap Boot, $98

Holiday Decor from Our Backyard

19 Dec

Red Berries + White Rock Ginger Ale Bottle = Cute Cute Cute

Prickly, awful holly bush is less of a nuisance during Christmas time.

Buttered Pear Martini

15 Dec

My very own cocktail recipe.  Dig it.

Add one part pear vodka to two-three parts pear nectar (depending on how strong you want it).  Add a splash of butterscotch schnapps and a generous squeeze of lemon.  Shake and strain.  Garnish with candied ginger.

Gifts for Good

10 Dec
For those of you that like multitasking, consider doing some holiday shopping at Nest, where you can buy gifts and assuage your liberal guilt at the same. See some of my favorite picks below.
“Nest is a nonprofit organization that empowers female artists and artisans around the world. Using a unique combination of interest-free microfinance loans, mentoring from established designers, as well as a market in which to sell their crafts, Nest helps its loan recipients create successful small businesses. Nest instills pride of ownership, preserves ancient artistic traditions and successfully moves women from poverty to self-sufficiency.”

Flora Slippers, $45

Notebook, $6

Ripple Teardrop Earrings, $45

Tea lights, $25

Lucite Branch Necklace, $52

Black Lucite Branch Necklace

Two Rivers Honey Bee Shea Butter Soap, $5

The Kindness of Strangers

9 Dec

I think I’m getting the title for this post from an episode of “This American Life.”  If I’m not, Ira should get on this topic as I think it’s a good one.  Tonight, though, I experienced it for myself.

In the words of Bright Eyes...

Tonight Shawn and I met for a drink after work this evening and while we were sitting and chatting, I noticed a man sitting alone at the bar. He kept glancing over at us and I just couldn’t decide if I found this creepy or sweet. Normally I would think it was a little weird to be making accidental eye contact with a man who seemed to be paying an inordinate amount of attention to me and boyfriend having a private but lively conversation at the bar, but for some reason this guy didn’t weird me out.  I know that I’ve been in situations where I’ve been alone and couldn’t help but listen to folks sitting near me, whether they were annoying or too loud or too interesting not to notice.  Hopefully we were the latter.  But whatever the case, a few minutes before Shawn and I were ready to leave, this man got up, said “Merry Christmas” to us, and left the bar.  He’d left his umbrella behind and Shawn ran out to give it to him.  When he got back ad we were to pay a few minutes later, the bartender told us the man had paid our tab and told him not to tell us until he’d left the bar.  That’s right, my friends. He paid it forward.

Sir, I know you don’t read my blog, but I’d like to say thank you.  It’s a dreary rainy night and you made it quite special for us.  In your honor, I promise this week to pay the bar tab of the folks next to me or the Krystal tab or the car behind me or the cover charge of the person behind me and make their evening like you made ours.