happy hour

Food Type: Birroteca

 

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Live in Baltimore? Visiting soon? Be sure to check out Birroteca, a modern take on delicious Italian cuisine. Not only is the food fantastic, but the atmosphere is spot-on for a laid-back meal in its quaint Hampden locale. I’ll be heading back soon to dabble in some brussel sprouts and get my fix of the olive oil and sea salt ice cream—sound weird? You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Cheers!
J.

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Food Type: Candied Bacon

Bacon recipe

Today’s Food Type is Father’s Day appropriate! Need a last minute gift? You know Dad will love something made by his favorite child—and believe me, you WILL be the favorite after he tastes this. The best part? It’s so simple! Creating the typography for this one took longer than making the actual recipe; in case you can’t tell, that is love…design love with a side of bacon.

Bacon photos

A special shoutout to my friend Allison for documenting each delicious step! We certainly enjoyed the final product.

Cheers!
J.

 

 

Wine & Design

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To get the ball rolling, a little creative grape juice…

1. Ampersand label design for Hither & Yon
2. Ombre stemless glasses from Uncommon Goods
3. Some simple typography and a pop of color goes a long way on this bottle from Vinkara
4. I’m in love with these quartz crystal stoppers; who says all bars have to be manly?
5. It’s called Helvetica—need I say more?
6. Alphabetical highlights the designer-y love of the letterform plus beautiful vintage illustration, all in one
7. That is one foxy Chardonnay
8. An infographic on a wine bottle? Sold.

I know I’m not the only person whose wine selection is generally driven by the label. While wine and food are meant to pair well, I don’t think we should overlook the fact that—especially for the younger generation, which is up-and-coming in the wide world of vino—the design of a label also needs to pair well with its audience.

Take the average mid-20’s female (ohh, let’s say blonde hair, blue eyes, about 5’3″, enjoys typography and long walks on the beach…) and ask her to describe the tannins, the nose and the mouthfeel of the wine she just tasted; more often than not, you will receive nothing more than a blank stare. This particular audience is not usually perusing the aisles of your local wine shop looking for “a bold red with a smooth finish,” she’s looking for bright colors, quirky names and attractive imagery.

In case you haven’t gotten the hint, I’m far from a wine connoisseur. I drink it, I love it and I do occasionally dabble in the foreign language of Wine Speak, but most evenings I’m picking up a bottle in between “this and that” and don’t really have time to spend exploring the cellar notes on the back, half of which I probably won’t understand anyway. 

Second Glass, creators of the quickly growing event Wine Riot, have accepted the challenge of helping this younger generation become more involved in the science behind the vino we love so very much. I attended Wine Riot in 2012 and was pleased to see that they are successfully helping novices such as myself learn about the world of wine in a fun and non-intimidating way. 

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The bold design and display of information that can normally be rather “dry” (pun intended), combined with humorous things such as temporary tattoos and photo booths has brought it down to our level and created a world where wine is less intimidating and more interesting. Make sure you check out the schedule to see when Wine Riot will be closest to you!

Cheers,
J.

 

 

 

Friday Sip & Sit: Mini-Vacay

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Today’s Sip & Sit comes from one of my favorite places on Earth. In an effort to soak in some early summer rays and enjoy every bit of relaxation this holiday weekend, the gal-pals and I decided to make the 8-hour trek from Bmore city life to paradise in Topsail Island, NC.

Obviously the beach comes with a plethora of more-than-acceptable alcoholic beverage options, but finding something that is refreshing and easy to drink in the hot summer sun can often be a challenge when contemplating options that have a ton of sugar (also known as a headache waiting to happen). So I’ve settled on this scrumptious and simple choice, which I’ll have in-hand in about t-minus three hours (#5oclocksomewhere).  

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Rum with Coconut Water & Lime

  • 1.5 oz. high-quality rum
  • 1.5 oz. coconut water
  • Squeeze of lime (appx. 1/4 lime)

Pour all ingredients in a lowball cocktail glass, add one large ice cube, and serve.

Thanks to two-tarts.com for today’s recipe!

Easy as pie! Usually my “sit’s” are places I’m daydreaming about each week. But today, I’m going to cut this post short and go enjoy my vacation, drink in hand. Don’t mind my shameless Ravens plug…

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Here’s hoping your holiday weekend takes its time, right now Tuesday is miles away…

Cheers!
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Relaxation

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Some Friday nights all you feel like doing is staying in and taking a nice, long bubble bath. Unfortunately for me, I don’t currently have a phenomenal soaking tub to retreat to, so this evening I’m simply dreaming about it.

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Today was my final day at the agency where my career began. After nine hours, a few tears and a hell of a lot of courage, I walked out the door, pulled out of the lot and said goodbye to so many great people and memories. As I drove away I thought about the ones in your life that come and go. It’s like cold water to the face when you wake up and realize that the past four and a half years have formed relationships that helped you grow SO much, yet—as much as you hope they will—probably won’t matter when you look back after the next four and a half.

Cliche moral? Of course I have one, don’t you worry! Enjoy every day—every moment with every person that has even the tiniest glimpse into your life. They have something to teach you; find that something and hold onto it so that when you look back you know exactly why they were there.

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Obviously, today’s sip is champagne-based! A mighty little toast to the future—to new beginnings and new people and new stories to tell.

Clementine Limoncello Champagne Cocktail

8 oz Champagne, chilled
1 ripe pomegranate (for juice, about 3 oz)
5 oz clementine juice, freshly pressed
1 1/2 tablespoons Limoncello
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly pressed

2 tablespoons cane sugar (or simple syrup to taste)

Combine clementine juice, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and limoncello.
Add champagne and sugar cane (or simple syrup) and mix.

Serve immediately.

Thanks to In Good Taste for today’s recipe!

Amazing changes intermittently happen in our lives. We must embrace them, hope for the best and work hard. But just for tonight? I’ll be relaxing in my imaginary tub of bubbles…while sipping on some real bubbles.

Cheers!
J.

Food Type: Bluegrass Tavern

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Located in charming Federal Hill, Bluegrass Tavern is a home away from home for southern folk with a sophisticated palette. From their classic, airy atmosphere to the whiskey and wine selection, there is nothing to rival the uniqueness of this Baltimore gem.

Stop by in the warmer months and enjoy a weekend brunch at one of their outdoor patio tables, or enjoy a romantic dinner in their intimate dining room. No matter what the occasion, you won’t be disappointed!

Cheers,
J.

 

Friday Sip & Sit: Bday Love

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Wednesday was none other than my lovely day of being welcomed into this world. In honor of this once-a-year anomaly where people you haven’t spoken to in ages supply some Facebook love (to which I am grateful, don’t get me wrong), this Friday’s Sip & Sit includes, of course, a fabulous champagne toast.

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Champagne Mint Julep

3-4 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
3 ounces of Cavicchioli 1928, Sparkling Wine, NV, very well chilled

In a champagne flute, add the mint leaves (twisting them as you add to release their flavor and aroma) and the bourbon, and muddle with the end of a spoon. Top with the chilled Cavicchioli and enjoy.

Simple enough! Thanks to The Kitchn for this week’s bday cocktail.

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But of course, what would a Friday happy hour treat be without an equally fantastic place to enjoy? I would love to soak in some afternoon sun on this boat—a day filled with friends and warm weather is really all it takes to satisfy my celebratory notions.

Apologies to all of my friends who are reading this in hopes of a surprise birthday getaway on my yacht; the bowling alley will have to suffice for this evening! #stayclassy

So happy birthday to me! Here’s hoping the big 2-7 will be filled with happiness and success—perhaps someday we’ll actually enjoy our Friday Sip & Sit overlooking the lapping water and smelling the wonderful salty air.

Cheers!
J.

 

 

Friday Sip & Sit: Texas Style

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Happy Friday! This week I was inspired by the Lone Star State, which I have only visited once, yet diligently adore. The Spicy Grapefruit Margarita allows you to sip a ton of Texas-style charm through one tiny little straw. What would Texas be without a bit of a kick to it? The habaneros in this guy are a sure-fire (pun intended) reminder of the Texan way of life.

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Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1-2 habanero chiles, halved
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice

Directions:

  • Mix tequila and chiles in a large pitcher. Let steep 3 hours, or longer if a spicier tequila is desired. Discard chiles. This can be made up to 1 month ahead. Cover; chill.
  • Pour enough water onto a small plate to cover. Pour enough salt onto another small plate to cover by 1/4″. Dip rims of eight 12-ounce. glasses into water, then into salt to lightly coat; fill with ice. Add grapefruit juice to pitcher with tequila. Fill with ice; stir until cold. Divide drink among glasses.

Recipe compliments of Bon Apetit!

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I love that the wildflowers in Texas own the highways with a prominence that makes you never want to have road rage ever again. Here, some of those beauties are incorporated as a centerpiece, placed in a galvanized metal bucket that adds just the right amount of rustic to the scene. And don’t even get me started on the stone table, look at the legs on that puppy! What a great way to incorporate something into its surroundings; this spot was flat-out meant for entertaining among the twisting branches of some southern live oaks. To top it all off, the bright, cheery chairs liven up this already thriving scene with a burst of Lone Star spirit (although, if it were me I may have gone for red, white and blue).

You can surely count me in for a Sip & Sit in this spot, prior to my rowdy, boot-scootin’ Friday night.

Cheers!
J.

 

Friday Sip & Sit: Spring

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Happy Friday! It’s officially the 2nd day of Spring and that, my friends, is reason to celebrate. Dust off that outdoor furniture—but leave the rest of the Spring cleaning for later—because in honor of this luscious seasonal change, today’s cocktail and locale both bring about feelings of sunshine, warmth and nature.

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Springtime Martini

Per Serving:
2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Orange juice
1/2 oz. Pineapple juice
1/2 oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. Aperol *

* Aperol is an Italian aperitif, somewhat bitter and with strong notes of grapefruit.

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well.  Pour into chilled martini glasses and garnish with lime.

Recipe compliments of A Cocktail Life!

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While some of the leaves in the background of this “sit” suggest a Fall chill, the amount of green on this porch is swaying me towards Spring beauty. The pink Gerber daisies pop against the white wood of the Adirondack chairs; and the soft blue watering can not only serves as a lovely complement, but also hints at the new growth of Spring.

I’d love to enjoy a nice Spring Martini here, soaking in the afternoon sun. Its airy color palette and oversized pillows are drawing me in…not to mention, I’m a sucker for a good porch swing.

Cheers!
J.

Friday Sip & Sit

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Happy Friday! Mother Nature has been playing tricks with us lately, dangling the carrot of warm weather and then yanking it back juuuust as we’re about to take the bait. I’m dreaming of warmer days with this Friday’s Sip & Sit.

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Thanks to the Cookie Rookie for this week’s cocktail!

Ginger Raspberry Crush

Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, muddled
  • 3 ounces vodka (I love Titos)
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • ginger ale
  • ice
Instructions
  1. muddle the raspberries and place half in the bottom of each glass
  2. top with agave nectar, lemon juice, and ice
  3. pour in 1.5 ounces of vodka per glass
  4. top with ginger ale
  5. serve with raspberries and lemon for garnish, and a sugar rim if desired.
  6. enjoy!

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What better way to enjoy warm weather than with a relaxing waterfront porch? I could use a Ginger Raspberry Crush—someone can hand it to me after I climb into that lovely kayak—paddling along the shores, soaking in the sun with immeasurable weekend contentment. Nothing is as inspiring as an exotic locale, offering brand new views, a refreshing mindset and crystal clear waters.

Cheers!
J.