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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: the Queen Bee

Happy thirsty Thursday, all! This recipe is one I have taken from a restaurant and have attempted to recreate at home. It is delicious and I think many of you would enjoy sipping this beverage (maybe even tonight as you wait for 'trick or treaters.' While staying in Baltimore this summer, I went to one of my favorite restaurants, the B&O American Brasserie. If you are ever in Baltimore, you will enjoy this space a great deal as it has incredible food, a neat atmosphere, and (obviously) delicious cocktails. It is located at the Hotel Monaco, Baltimore:

Interestingly, while doing some extra backup research for this post I noticed that the restaurant has served this drink in different glasses at different times. I feel like my glass, rather than a martini glass, gives the beverage a fun Prohibition-era vibe! The B&O restaurant recently posted on their Facebook page that this beverage was highlighted by Redbook magazine as one of the "39 trending cocktails [they] love."

The Queen Bee is $14 and on their cocktails menu. This cocktail list, "consists of handcrafted libations that truly define the art of the cocktail." This cocktail originates from the restaurant and was a winner at the 2008 Cocktail World Cup Regional Finals. I may have even had this drink all the way back then when I was still basically living in Baltimore half the time! Their menu only states the following about the beverage:

  • Absolut
  • Yuzu
  • St. Germain
  • Honey syrup
The drink had an orange twist as garnish (though mine looks like a lemon in the photo above... maybe my second one had orange?)!

Here is how I broke the cocktail down at home:

[sidebar: my double jigger is 1 1/2 ounce and 3/4 ounce, but I might have to get this OXO one with the measurements on the inside of both ends!]

  • 1 1/2 oz Absolut vodka
  • 3/4 oz yuzu* juice
  • 1 1/2 oz St. Germain
  • 3/4 oz honey syrup
Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add an orange twist for garnish, but be sure to actually twist it over the drink to let the oils out!

The honey syrup was really easy. It is just like simple syrup just with honey instead of sugar. Really watch it so it doesn't burn and you will have a new item for your bar rotation that will keep in the fridge!

*Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit. It looks like a shrunken orange or grapefruit. It is used for many things, and I just bought a bottle of it at a gourmet food shop here in the area. You can get a pure Yuzu Juice on places like

Will you try making the Queen Bee at home?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Savory Saturday: delicious cabbage salad

This salad is adapted from Karmel and Blumer's Pizza on the Grill, called the "Hong Kong Confetti Salad" (p. 124):
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (it had a lot of heat so I cut it down to 1/8)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 small head red cabbage, cored, then cut crosswise into the narrowest ribbons possible and separated
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut length-wise into the thinnest strips possible
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut length-wise into the thinnest stripes possible
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 1/2 cup chopped lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, lime juice, honey, ginger, and cayenne. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, onion, and cilantro and toss thoroughly. Toss with the dressing to coat well, then garnish with the sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Note: If preparing more than an hour in advance, keep the cabbage separate and dress the salad just before serving (otherwise the whole salad will be purple).

Monday, October 14, 2013

Must-have Mondays: October 14, 2013

Todays must-have Mondays item is a gorgeous dress from Tibi, sold at an awesome discount on The Outnet. The Outnet is one of my favorite websites as it is affiliated with Net-A-Porter, but is a discounted womenswear website. Have any of you used it? Awesome discounts and current looks from collections. I often update my Pinterest based on finds from The Outnet... But I digress.

Dress details:
  • Twill
  • Gold foil-effect lace-appliqué, subtle peplum, fully lined
  • Concealed hook and zip fastenings along back
  • Tibi lace-appliquéd twill dress in gold
  • The original price: $495, on The Outnet: $222.75 (55% off)

Back of the dress:

Lace-appliquéd gold detail:

How do you plan to wear the lace trend this Fall 2013?

Photos property of © 2009-2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: the dress

You may remember the two close-up sneak peek photos I posted on Instagram just prior to my wedding - many of you asked questions I just could not give away so close to the wedding!:

Dress info:
The gown has a coordinating detachable chantilly lace and freshwater pearl shrug. It is made of satin lining, net overlay, hand-beaded chantilly lace appliqué embellished with freshwater pearls, beads, and sequins. The gown's neckline is a deep sweetheart and the silhouette is fit and flare. The aforementioned detachable shrug is sheer, with matching beaded lace appliqué, and scallop trim. The gown has a chapel length train with a scalloped edge. You may notice some silver to the dress. The dress has pure silver threading used on some of the pearls and beads to give it a sheen. Incredibly beautiful in candlelight. And my Mom loved that scalloped edge!

Getting zipped and buttoned up:

One of my favorite photos of the wedding day - taken on the front steps of my church - showing off the incredible hand-sewn details of my gown:

After the pre-wedding photoshoot was done (Autumn natural light and all) - heading back to the church to wait - what a nerve-wracking wait it was:

What is your favorite feature on wedding dresses or formal gowns? Lace? Beading? A specific neckline?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Temptation Tuesdays: KEP Designs

During football season, I try to wear my alma mater's colors without looking ridiculous at the tailgate and game. One way to show off my school's colors (Randolph-Macon College) is through wearing chic jewelry. Thankfully, our school colors are black, lemon, gold - nothing that clashes badly! I have always liked that KEP Designs offers different price tiers of jewelry for shoppers [see also Facebook page]. One can wear precious, semi-precious, or 'classic' jewelry. The price range of this brand is around $40 - $3,000.

Here are some of my favorites from the brand's different categories, below, priced from lowest to highest:

KEP Designs -> Flower Collection -> 16 inch Enamel Flower Necklace Black, $100

KEP Designs -> Earrings -> Black onyx stud with large hollow drop, $185

KEP Designs -> Hoops -> 2 inch 14k gold filled wrapped hoop with black onyx, $225

KEP Designs -> Classic Collection -> 300-Oval:the lizzie-touseld lemon yellow, $250

KEP Designs -> Precious -> 300-Toggle-faceted citrine briolettes, $800

KEP Designs -> Precious Earrings -> Hand carved black onyx flower jackets with 18k gold gold stamen with a diamond, $850

All photos owned by KEP Designs. Upcoming KEP Designs events here.

When was the last time you were on KEP Designs website? Which piece is your favorite? Go Yellow Jackets!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why Not? Wednesday: Poo-Pourri

Yup. You read that title right. There is a product called Poo-Pourri. My Mom and I were in an organic gift shop themed around babies and saw bottles of this product on display. I think this was pre-wedding, so last year.

I honestly could not stop laughing. Yes, bodily functions still make me giggle a bit. But my amusement hit a whole other level when I saw this Poo-Pourri ad on YouTube this evening (while I was working, I was listening to the Sound of Music (1965) soundtrack). This ad certainly grabbed my attention as she is so blunt in her script!

Steps for using Poo-Pourri:
1. Spritz product
2. Take a #2
3. Flush
4. Leave restroom

Scent names: Original, Call Of The Wild, Deja' Poo, Sh*ttin' Pretty, Party Pooper, Crap Shooter, Daisy Doo, No. 2, Loo~Pourri, HeavenScent, Nature's Call, Dr. Potts, Doody Free, Poo-Tonium, Heavy Doody, Super Dooper Pooper, Lil' Stinker, Secret Santa, Santa Poo...

Note how I said we saw it in an organic shop? Well, Poo-Pourri does not contain:
-Harsh Chemicals
-Petroleum Distillates

This post is currently up on their website:
Our new YouTube video has constipated our shipping system.
In one week traffic on our website increased over 13,000% Holy crap, right!
We are working day and night, but please give us up to 2 weeks to get your PooPourri shipment out the door.
Make sure to order now to get in line!
The Poo Crew

This company is hysterical. Can you imagine working here? So many puns!

How would you feel about something so funny on display in your guest bathroom?
Would you appreciate such a product in your ladies lounge/restroom at work?
I wish the name wasn't so ridiculous!

**clearly, I sincerely do not anticipate anyone commenting on this post, but "Holy Crap!" would be delighted if you were ballsy enough to do so**