Tag Archives: alcohol

2012 roundup

31 Dec

2012 was a good year for me.

*I moved out of my parents’ house and back to my beloved city.

*I went to my first Dance-O-Rama. It was a great experience, although difficult at the time, and I can’t wait until I can do another one.

*I had a rhythm dance dress made for me.

*When 2012 started, I was 3 weeks into a new job, which I really liked. And I still like it a lot, and I’m still learning a ton.

*I started knitting much more. And have made some nice things.



*I started running, and ran two 5Ks, including this one.

*I found an old cocktail book and have been making great old cocktails from it.


I did the same with some recipes from my grandmother my dad found.

*I made some crafty things, and they turned out OK.




*My dancing has improved A LOT this year, especially in the last three months.

In terms of the goals I made at the beginning of the year:

*Better physical health? Yep. I lost more weight, getting within 10 pounds of my goal. (I have gained 5 in the last month, but we won’t talk about that yet.) I was eating a lot better (until the last month, but we’ll ignore that for now.)

*Better mental health and a most positive outlook? I think so. I’ve tried to be more positive and to not go thinky. A few people have commented that they’ve noticed a difference in my attitude.

*I went to a Dance-O-Rama, I’ve not been as thinky about dance, I’ve done more creative things like baking and knitting, and I’ve continued with my blogging.

Speaking of my blog, here are some interesting stats.

*In the past year, most of my views came from the US with England, Canada (Hi DG!), and Australia (Hi KP!) next.

*My most viewed post is one I did on Quicken vs Mint.com, followed by infusing vodka, and pear chocolate cake. Money, alcohol and food.

*The most common search term used that drives people to my blog is “mint.com vs quicken” (or some variation of that) followed by “pear chocolate cake”, and “handle of Svedka”. Money, food, and alcohol. Sense a pattern yet?

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you what my goals for 2013 are. Til then, be safe tonight!

Vodka for Christmas

5 Dec

Vodka for as a Christmas present? That’d be totally fine with me. (As would whiskey. And gin. And wine. And a Kindle.) And apparently it works as presents for lots of other people too. Because a lot of people have been asking the Googs recently about how to infuse vodka, and my vodka post gets a ton of hits as a result. And I mean a ton. It’s probably my most popular post.

I think it’s funny how many people are looking to infuse vodka this time of year – my guess as Christmas presents. I did it last year, and I must say – huge hit.

(Side note – apparently I’m into the dash today.)

But isn’t it pretty? And super easy!

awesome vodka

You should totally check out how to do it. And majorly impress your friends this holiday season.

Cocktail #3: The Bronx

8 Oct

Another great cocktail from Burke’s book.

The Bronx cocktail. I’ve never heard of it. But having made it, I will so be making this A LOT. It’s very good. Almost too good. It goes down a little too easily – it’d be easy to drink too many of these!

The Bronx cocktail
1 part gin
1 part vermouth
1 part orange juice

Put everything into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake 25 times. (No joke. The directions give a specific number of shakes for this one.)  Strain into a cocktail glass. ENJOY.

I know I did.

Weekly roundup

24 Sep

Last week, I…

*Had an awesome birthday…with homemade cake!

*Determined that I’m doing really well and am in pretty good mental health.

*Had lunch with a friend from college that I haven’t seen in probably 15 years. It was so much fun catching up. I’m amazed at the woman she’s become.

*Did not go to the gym. Fail.

*Made another great cocktail.

*Had round two of birthday dessert.

Because why not?

*Enjoyed dancing again this week. So glad I’m remembering to have fun with that.

*Went to try a new church. I drove up about 5 minutes before the service, and there were literally 4 cars parked there. No one was walking in. It felt a little deserted, so I didn’t go in. To be honest, it felt a bit creepy. Oh well. The search for a church continues.

*Had brunch with my parents at one of my favorite places.

#2: The manhattan

23 Sep

Remember the cocktail list from Burke’s cocktail guide?

Number two on the list: the manhattan.

I’ve never had a manhattan before. I’ve heard of it but I had never tried one. The ingredient list sound good though: basically a martini with whiskey instead of gin. So I made one. However, I was out of lemons, so I couldn’t do the lemon twist. It was a great cocktail, and I’m curious how the lemon twist would affect the taste. So I guess I’ll have to make another one once I get lemons. 🙂

The book lists recipes for a dry manhattan and a sweet manhattan. Again, the sweet one required two kinds of vermouth, so I tried the dry manhattan. I really enjoyed the taste! But between the two, I”ll take the martini.

Dry manhattan:
2 parts rye or Irish whiskey (I used Irish whiskey because I’m out of rye)
1 part vermouth
2 dashes bitters
Ice. Stir. (Again, I used my cocktail shaker. It’s just more fun.) Strain and serve in a glass with a cherry and add a lemon twist.



Weekly roundup

17 Sep

Last week, I…

*Watched our medal ball judge get excited about taking a picture with Snoopy. Apparently all dancers are dance geeks?

*Made an amazing slow cooker chicken curry. Check it out here. It was so good! Oh, and I made brownies. Mmm.

*Had a super-fun, way-awesome dance lesson. Yep, the joy is back in dancing!

*Finished knitting a project. Details soon.

*Got handed a big project to lead at work. I’m very excited and feel good about the faith my boss has in me.

*Had my biannual eye exam. Eyes are good but I’m wearing my contacts way too much. Like waaayyyy too much. Now I have to wear my glasses for 1-2 hours every day. SIGH.

*Learned to make martinis.

*Had one of the most productive weekends ever. I got a lot done on Saturday, and I had a ton of time on Sunday to relax. I even took a nap!

It’s cocktail time

16 Sep

I love cocktails. You’ve heard me talk before about how hard it was to live with my parents because my mom insists on a dry house. So now that I’m back on my own, I’ve been taking advantage of it and drinking a cocktail once in a while.

And by cocktail, I mean alcohol + mixer. I’m the queen of vodka tonics, gin & tonics, and whiskey gingers. I love other cocktails but have never ventured into making them at home.

Until now. I decided recently that I wanted to master making some classic cocktails. I’ve wanted to for years, but just never had the guts to try it. Ridiculous I know, but there – now you have a glimpse of who I was 5 years ago and before. I searched the Googles for information on the top cocktail recipes, and for once Google let me down. Nowhere, did it seem, was there a list of the top 10 or 15 cocktails. Boo. Shame on you, Google.

Then I remembered. When we cleaned out my grandfather’s house in the late 80s, my dad let me take a book called “Burke’s Complete Cocktail and Tastybite Recipes”. I didn’t know why I wanted it except that it was a super old book that had our name in the title. I thought that was way cool. (Still do, by the way.) I’ve had it ever since but have never really used it.

So I started looking through it today. Turns out, it was published in 1936 and was written by Harman Burney “Barney” Burke. The intro describes Barney as (wait for it) a master in the bartending profession, having worked “from Piccadilly to Paris; to Berlin in Germany’s heyday; to Copenhagen and back to Paris; to Park Avenue and the New America”. Seems funny that the Irish family with alcoholics in its tree also has a well-known bartender. Well, maybe that’s not so strange.

There are some interesting tidbits in this book.

“Americans will eventually become connoisseurs of wines – and it is my prediction that American wines will one day be known as the best in the world.”

“The cocktail era will probably pass, in its turn, and make way for a great people to ‘find’ themselves with respect to their drinking, by learning to drink and enjoy wines and malt liquors. Meantime, however, there is no denying that the cocktails’ heyday is here; for the next few years every hour will be the Cocktail Hour, so to speak.”

“The wise drinker who would consider health in connection with drinking can adopt no better antidote for the hard side of hard liquor than tasty bits of food, before, during, and after the drink.”


He also includes (yay!) the 15 “most popular conventional drinks in the Western world”. Number one, then and now, is the martini.

So…I’ve decided to try and learn these recipes. Start with the 15 and then maybe branch out to the other 100 that are in here. You can watch for these cocktails as I will be writing about them.

I realize that the recipes from 1936 might be slightly different than what’s done today. But it’s a starting point; I can always tweak it from there. Plus, using this book gives it more of a “retro” feel.

Number one: the martini. (Man, that so makes me think of Monty Python. “Number one…the larch”. Anyone? Just me? OK fine. Back to cocktails.)

The recipes are for dry, medium, and sweet martinis. I didn’t really know which one I would prefer. No idea which one I was given when I ordered them in bars. But I know that I prefer a dry white wine to a sweet white wine, plus the recipes for the medium and sweet required two kinds of vermouth. Which to be honest seems like a waste of money. So I thought I’d start with the dry and if I didn’t like it, I could always try one of the others.

Dry martini:
2 parts gin
1 part vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
Ice. Stir. (OK, I used my cocktail shaker. It’s just more fun. And James Bond prefers that way too. So there.) Strain into a cocktail glass. Add one olive (or two if you’re me) and serve.

And the result:

Perfection! Well, perfection to me. But I’m not a connoisseur of martinis. I think I need to have AM try this…she’s really the expert. But to me, it was tasty, very balanced in flavor, and a great addition to a Sunday afternoon.


Weekly roundup

10 Sep

Last week, I…

*Celebrated the Labor Day holiday with lunch with LS. I love spending time with my friends and talking. So fun and just makes my soul feel better.

*Finished my crafty projects. More on one of them later. The other is a gift, so I have to wait to tell all of you until I give it.

*Continued my progress in my attitude about dance. I’m really starting to enjoy it again – a lot.

*Was the recipient of the best regift EVER.

Jealous, aren’t you? I know. I would be too.

*Made fabulous gluten-free brownies that were so good, they tasted like full-gluten brownies.

*Had dinner with MH. More spending time with friends and relaxing.

*Ran the Warrior Dash and completed every obstacle except the two involving heights. And I ran it in 45:32.35. Not bad for a 5K and for my first race!

*Had one of the most relaxing, enjoyable Sunday mornings ever.

Coffee, the crossword, a good book, and coffee cake as a treat. Ahhhh.

Weekly roundup

16 Apr

Last week, I…

*Had my first baseline mammogram. Yep, I’m old. Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as bad as people say it is.

*Tried to figure out  how I would treat a 5-year-old that was going through what I’m going through. (Yep, still no answers on that one.)

*Had another fitting for my dance dress. Can’t wait!

*Reminded myself that the comparison game can be dangerous, and the important comparison is my life to what I want it to be.

*Made a great chicken pasta with lemon cream sauce and a FANTASTIC chocolate salted caramel shortbread. YUM.

*Had coffee with KB at a great neighborhood coffeehouse – outside on a beautiful Minnesota morning. Much laughter ensued.

*Got deblonded again by my hair stylist. I love being a brunette!

*Dinner and shopping with SR and NA. This involved pretty cocktails like a strawberry mojito…

and a pear-lavender martini…

and a glass of red wine for me because I was driving.

*Bought something I’ve wanted for a really long time…

red heels!! I finally found a pair with a good size heel in the right shade of red for a reasonable price.

*Had two great dance lessons.

And most importantly….

*Found out that enough people have signed up and put money down for Dance-O-Rama in Chicago, so now the price is cheap enough that I CAN GO!!!!!! Bucket list items being crossed off. Dreams coming true here, people. DREAMS COMING TRUE!!!!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

17 Mar

As it’s 10pm on St Patrick’s Day, you’ve probably guessed by now that I’m not out celebrating. And I am almost 100% Irish. Maybe I’m old, but the idea of going to a loud, crowded bar full of people completely drunk off their asses and trying to find sober rides home just is not appealing. Ideally, I’d be home with a whiskey – either a Bushmill’s or a Jameson’s – in my hand. But alas, I live in a dry house, so no whiskey for me tonight. Sadness.

A few of my favorite Irish sayings:

“As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.”

“May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten.”

“May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.”

“May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends beneath it never fall out.”

“May those who love us, love us; and those who don’t love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping.”

And my personal favorite…

Lá fhéile pádraig sona duit! And beannachtaí na féile pádraig ort! (Happy St Patrick’s Day! And St Patrick’s blessings on you!)

No I don’t speak Irish. But Google does.


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