Archive for March 2013

Book Review: The Tiger's Wife

I admit my book funk has continued. I’ve started more than I care to admit, but few seem to lure me and serve as a daily companion on my commute. That is until I decided to pick up The Tiger’s Wife by TĂ©a Obreht.

After finishing the book, I now understand why she is the youngest of the New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty. She has a way with words…she chooses them wisely and never uses more than necessary. Each one was selected with a precise purpose throughout the story of Natalia, a young doctor, seeking answers to the circumstances surrounding her grandfather’s death. 

Throughout her journey, Obreht did a magical job of weaving Natalia’s stories in with those of her grandfather’s. “These stories,” Natalia comes to understand, “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for.

I missed my metro stop a time or two on the way home because I was so engrossed in this book, so I cannot help but recommend picking this one up if you haven’t already. Yes, the start is a little slow. But trust me your patience will be rewarded.

Posted in | Leave a comment

Whiskey & BBQ

Whiskey and BBQ...two of our favorite things. On Friday, we flew out to Kansas City and braced ourselves for a 4.5 hour drive to Branson, Missouri for a family wedding. Before we even considered starting the over four hour drive, we stopped at Arthur Bryant's for some authentic Kansas City BBQ.

Considering Keith grew up in Texas, there was some skepticism on his part as to whether Arthur Bryant's would deliver. But when I saw his tweet describing, "Arthur Bryant's was a revelation." I knew I wouldn't have to hear about the virtues of Texas for the drive ahead. We contemplated grabbing another sandwich for the flight home on Sunday, but instead decided to save the next visit for when we return in September.

The second highlight was Saturday afternoon. I want to go on record as being the best wife. When researching how we could spend the time before the wedding, I figured there had to be some kind of micro distillery in the area. Lucky for us there was...the Copper Run Distillery about a half hour outside of Branson. 

They produce a whiskey using 80% corn and 20% wheat and a moonshine as well as a rum aged three years. I hope they get to a point where they can age the whiskey longer than seven months because there is potential. It's a full whiskey with a sweet carmel finish. The rum on the other hand reminded me of vanilla extract. They also have a bar upstairs that serves some delightful cocktails using their spirits. Had we not had to slip away for the wedding, I think Keith and I would have spent hours there. The sexy thyme cocktail was quite delightful. 

Is there anything you seek out when traveling? 

Posted in , , | Leave a comment

Recipe: Bourbon Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

After the long week at work, I wanted nothing more than a lazy weekend. Initially, we had planned to head back to Union Market, but overcast skies and chilly weather kept us even closer to home. So close to home in fact that I never left our apartment on Sunday. 

Instead I wanted to stay in sweatpants, with no makeup, and untamed hair that only results from showering and letting it dry on its own. As the afternoon progressed I craved something sweet, but not wanting to leave I was limited to the options as to what I could bake. There was buttermilk so a chocolate cake was a contender. There were fresh lemons and ricotta cheese with a slight hope for a cheesecake. Then the idea of oatmeal raisin cookies came to mind. And we all know, I like to add a little bourbon. 

I took the Smitten Kitchen's recipe for thick, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies as the base. I just soaked the raisins in some bourbon to bring a little extra love. Let's just say they are awesome. I'll go so far as to declare them the best oatmeal raisin cookie I've savored. Go ahead try for yourself. 

Bourbon Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 stick, unsalted butter softened
2/3 c. packed, light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/5 t. vanilla
3/4 all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1.5 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. raisins
2 T. bourbon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional, I didn't feel like chopping so those were omitted)

1. In a small bowl, toss the raisins with the bourbon and set aside. 

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Combine the flour mixture with the butter / sugar mixtures. Once combined, add the oats, raisins, the bourbon and walnuts if you're using them. 

3.  Place the dough in the fridge to chill a bit. While the dough was chilling, I cleaned up the kitchen and preheated the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the oven is heated, scoop the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure the oven is at 350 before you put them in. 

4. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. (Baking time will vary. Mine took closer to 12 minutes.) They're done when the edges are golden, but they still look undercooked on the top. Let me them cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. 

5. Once cool, transfer to an airtight container. Of course, that's assuming they last that long. 

6. Enjoy! 

Posted in , , | Leave a comment

Sunday at Union Market

Eager to try out my new toy, I convinced Keith we should head over to Union Market. The weather was a gorgeous 63 and perfect for wandering around. What ultimately sealed the deal was the promise of fresh oysters and take it from us Rappahannock Oyster Co. is worth the trip alone.

Don't worry. If you're not a fan of oysters, there are plenty of options to suit your fancy. Keith is already talking about making this a regular Sunday afternoon outing this spring. This might be one of the better ideas he's recently had.

Posted in , , , | Leave a comment

New toy

During my first semester of undergrad, I took a photography class. I I mean my mom invested a fair amount in a camera, film, photo paper, etc. I enjoyed the class and took some rather decent photos as the semester progressed. However, I never quite learned how to continue pursuing a hobby while trying to wrap up and become an adult. If I only knew...

Anyways, I have been considering a new DSLR for quite some time. I finally broke down and bought myself a new toy. There are plans for a class at the Corcoran so I can become reacquainted with a camera. You can expect more photos here, but I'll warn you'll they will be unedited as I spent the rest of my budget on some fabulous shows. Don't worry. I'm back on track to saving for PhotoShop and a new lens or two.

Do you have any hobbies? Or maybe recommendations for "must haves" if you're new to photography?

Posted in | Leave a comment

Just another day at the office

Seeing these little guys waddle around the atrium of the office building may have been better than my usual 2:00 pm M&M break. 

Posted in | Leave a comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Powered by Blogger.


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by