We officially have just one more day of summer left, so I’ve decided to celebrate with a happy hour tipple that combines the imbibable trend of the sunny season (the frozen drink) with a cocktail I inherently associate with fall: the dark and stormy. It gets its name from the tempestuous blend of dark rum and spicy ginger beer that results in a comforting cocktail that’s both bracing and refreshing.
If you’re wondering exactly how to toast the end of the season, scroll down to get the super simple recipe.
As you may have noticed, I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging at the beginning of the year. I was feeling pretty burned out after the rush of the holiday season, both here and at my nine-to-five job, so a break felt overdue. After a few months off, I returned feeling refreshed and more creatively excited than ever.
Lately, I’ve been positively brimming with new ideas—I pop up at night to write them down, I scribble them on post-it notes at work and I record them, line by line, in my Notes app on the bus during my evening commute. And it feels great. I’ve been getting back into the swing of blogging, with ambitious goals to match my renewed creative inspiration.
As surprising as it might sound, baked goods are not really my vice. I love baking cakes and pies and cookies, but once I’ve had a few bites of my creation, I’m satisfied. That’s why it gives me such pleasure to bake for other people. Other chocolate-loving, dessert-devouring, sweet tooth-having people.
My boyfriend and I recently hosted a birthday party for his sister, who has some dietary restrictions: she doesn’t eat refined sugar, dairy or gluten. I firmly believe that birthdays should never be celebrated sans cake of some sort, so I took this occasion as a challenge to create something that was safe for Alex’s sister to eat and truly delicious for those of us who are used to eating “regular” cake.
The toast phenomenon is alive and well in Seattle, and I’m not mad about it. Toast, as a food, is both disarmingly simple and eternally comforting. All it requires is a slice of crisped up bread and an ever-changing array of toppings. It’s a simple meal, so it demands a certain attention be payed to the ingredients. As Ina says, you’ll want to use only the best.
Painters from the Dutch Golden Age have always been a favorite of mine—I love their use of moody shadow, saturated color and beautiful melancholy. The still lifes speak to me, but The Girl with the Pearl Earring…well…she’s magnetic. I’ve always found her over-the-shoulder stare to be far more captivating than Mona Lisa’s smile (sorry, da Vinci), and my obsession with her only grew after reading a fictionalized account of her creation and watching the subsequent movie starring Colin Firth as Mr. Vermeer himself.