Posts Tagged ‘Food and Drink’

Feasting Pretty: Tessemae’s All Natural Salad Dressings


We eat a lot of salad in my house. Seriously, between the two of us I know we go through tons of greens and vegetables each week. My mom eats a salad every day and sometimes twice a day. I think I get it honestly. A few years ago le husband and I decided that we were not going to eat mass produced salad dressings. I decided and as the cook in the family he had no choice but to go along with the plan. I normally make my own salad dressings with good extra virgin oil (in the words of Ina Garten), a delcious balsamic vinegar, and dijon mustard.

But then Tessamae entered my salad dressing world and we were hooked. Tessamae is a small family owned and operated company out of Annapolis, Maryland which is a hop, skip, and a jump to me. The dressings are all natural and expire within 60 days of opening. They don’t have high fructose corn syrup, exorbitant amounts of sugar, and a lot of the icky stuff most big name salad dressings have. All of Tessamae’s dressings can be used for salads, as a marinade or as a dip. Tessame, please come up with a miso dressing so I don’t have to make mine.

Now we are going back and forth testing and tasting all the dressings. After discovering how much sugar is in ketchup, I switched. Tessame’s has a kick and is so good. Once I tasted their ketchup I threw away every other brand in my refrigerator in the trash. Yes, I have a condiment problem.

They have a BBQ sauce, but since I’m from Texas (the home of the best BBQ in my opinion), I have to remain loyal to my dad’s recipe. Sorry, Tessamae. Some things just can’t change. Tessamae is worth investing in – for yourself and your tastebuds.

Capture Artisan Wine Tour


Capture Artisan Wine Tour 2015


It might be snowing this morning in D.C. on the Spring Equinox, but I know warm weather, festivals, outdoor events and fun outside is around the corner. It also means the first Capture Wine Tour is almost here in D.C. Capture Wine Tour is a twelve-city celebration of wine. Capture Wine Tour includes music, food and spirits and is going to be a party.

Instead of a regular wine festival where you see, swirl, sip and savor and taste wine this tour allows you to meet the wine makers and wine country entrepreneurs.  The tour has more than forty wineries and food based on the farm-to-table movement from local restaurants in each city.

Tickets are on sale now and I hope to see you there.



Travel Diary: Devon Valley Hotel in Cape Winelands, South Africa

I traveled to Cape Winelands in 2010 before heading to the World Cup in other parts of South Africa. It was one of those bucket list trips, but I never posted the photos or wrote what made it so memorable. Growing up in Houston I always knew that my life would be very different than other members of my family. I know some of them could really care less about travel. They love hearing about my adventures, but that is for Ju-Ju. All they need is my itinerary and to know I made it safely back home.

I always knew I wanted a life full of passport stamps, adventur, and joie de vivre. It wasn’t until my late 20s when I decided this thinking was okay and that they didn’t have to “get me.” If you never thought of going to South Africa I beg you to reconsider. It’s worth every single cent you have to save to get there. I suggest visiting the Cape Winelands if you are a fan of the grape. There are numerous wineries for afternoons of sipping, pondering, and discovering something different.

The Devon Valley Hotel was our base and the perfect place to recover from a very long day of travel. If you know me you know two things: (1) I hate to fly (ironic, I know) and (2) I don’t sleep on planes. So you can imagine how exhausted I was landing in Africa. After navigating driving on the opposite side of the highway, shifting gears on the opposite side of the car, and deciding it was better that The Don drive we arrived to mountains, fresh air, and luxury. The hotel has its very own winery next door. SylvanVale Vineyards is part of the hotel. It was great sampling their many wines on our trip. I just wish I could find them here in the states. Delicious.

Happy Travel Tuesday!

Devon Valley

Devon Vally Hotel

Devon Valley Bath

SylvanVale Vineyards

SylvanVale Wine Menu

Wine tasting at SylvanVale

SylvanVale Vineyards Fave

We visited was Peter Falke Wines. The view and the atmosphere was simple stunning and the wine was equally as divine.

{Peter Falke Wines}

Peter Falke Wines 1

Peter Falke Wines 4

Peter Falke Wines 5

Peter Falke Wines 2

Peter Falke Wines 7

 {Wine + contemplation = a great life!}

Peter Falke Wines 3

Feasting Pretty: Buvette Gastrothèque in New York City

The beauty of Twitter is when one breakfast appointment cancels another one takes its place. I went to New York last week and a planned breakfast meeting was canceled the night before. I put on Twitter if anyone wanted to have breakfast with me. One of my followers messaged and the next thing I know we were discussing beauty, life, and business at the cutest little restaurant called Buvette. Of course I’m obsessed with the restaurant now especially since I discovered they have a location in Paris. I am so happy Tamera messaged me and we met. Look for a very cute colloboration coming in the fall. Beauty + brains = business.

Buvette  Gastrothèque
42 Grove St, New York, NY 10014

Buvette 4

{Very strong and good coffee}

Buvette 2

Buvette 1

{Croque Madame. Amazing}

Buvette 3



A Celebration of Wine & Family: Q&A With Francis Ford Coppola

FFC Winery


To know me is to know I love wine. I believe wine is a part of a meal and life is too short to drink bad wine. I recently spent an evening sipping some of my favorite wines from the Francis Ford Coppola Winery before a Q&A with the genius Mr. Coppola. Francis Ford Coppola is the Academy Award winning director of The Godfather movie series, as well as, the director of other great movies such as Patton, Apocalypse Now, and Peggy Sue Got Married just to name a few.

What I enjoyed the most about the Q&A was the story of how much family and wine mean to him. The wines are not just products of someone who loves the grape, but a man who loves his children and grandchildren. The essence of Mr. Coppola is family first. He spoke of family and his legacy, what wine means to him, and how his film work and wine go hand in hand. The man writes songs for his grandchildren – and he puts it to music and sings for them. Amazing.

His journey from filmmaker to wine maker to hotelier has always fascinated me. You didn’t realize he was into hotels? Check out Blancaneaux Lodge and book your trip. The history behind the brand, how he almost lost everything, his perseverance and hard work has paid off tremendously.

The next time I pick up a bottle of Coppola Claret (my favorite of his red wines) I will do a toast to Mr. Coppola – not only for his wine, but for his inspiration. I am so excited to visit his vineyard when I’m in Napa Valley next month.

It’s time for a Francis Ford Coppola Movie Marathon with a variety of his wines. Stay tuned.

{Mr. Coppola kept everyone mesmerized.}

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 {One of my favorite Chardonnay’s. It doesn’t have a lot of oak which most California Chardonnays seem to have.}


{This new Pinot Grigio is everything. It’s perfect for spring and summer. I see many sips of this in my future while sitting on my patio.}







{3.14.14} Le Weekend

3.14.14. Le Weekend.jpg

I hope your week has gone well. I always look forward to Friday. It’s usually my time to drink wine and watch documentaries on Netflix. It’s day two of bathroom renovation craziness. Seriously, this is not my thing. Thank God my husband has more patience in this area and has been dealing with the contractors. I want to deal with what happens after everything is done. I only want to deal with the decor of the bathroom – new mirrors, lights, and storage for all my beauty products. You know the important stuff. Have a beauty-full weekend dear hearts.

Here are my loves for the week.

Liquid Coconut Oil. I am a huge fan of coconut oil. I cook with it, use it on my hair, and body. But if you ever used coconut oil you know you have to melt it. I found liquid coconut oil and this is perfect in all the areas I need it. I have been mixing my own bath oils and excited to add this to the bath time mix.

George Washington’s Peach Brandy. I live rather close to Mount Vernon. Many people don’t realize that it is also a distillery. They make a fine whiskey, but it’s been over 200 years since the property made peach brandy. It goes on sale April 1 and is limited edition.

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. I loved Holly’s first book Manny and have been reading this book since I received an advanced copy this week. The book comes out April 1. If you are looking for a book to start your spring reading journey – grab yourself a copy and imagine it’s summer. Holly’s books take you away.

Travel Diary: Desert Renewal in Mesa, Arizona – Day 5

Mesa Clouds and Mountains

My last day in Mesa was definitely too short. It started with a lovely breakfast at The Cutting Board Bakery and Café. I’m a fan of anything and all things local so having organic and locally sourced ingredients was a fitting ending to a great trip. It was also nice to have fresh juice and glad that I wasn’t the one behind the juicer like I normally am.

After my healthy breakfast it was time to get in one more workout. Our “getting it in” workout was a Karve class at K Pilates. Karve? Karve is mixture of yoga, pilates, and ballet barre. It’s a total body workout and after tucking, stretching, and lengthening I felt like a new one.

Phoenix and Mesa are a great adventure and wellness destination. I can’t wait to return. I’m in talks with a girlfriend to try and head back in October.







Travel Diary: Desert Renewal in Mesa, Arizona – Day 4

Desert Renewal Travel Diary.

One of the best things about being outdoors and having fun is the opportunity to get in some for of exercise. I didn’t realize I liked hiking until I moved to the DC area, but now I love it. On day 4 of the desert renewal we spent fun outside. We started the day with outside yoga at Usury Mountain Regional Park. The park has many trails that I can’t wait to go back and explore. I definitely want to take the full moon hike. I can only imagine how beautiful that hike would be. If mountain biking is your thing, the park has many trails for your wheel exploration.

{Yoga instructor Misty and yours truly. How gorgeous is Usury Park}

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Visit Mesa Yoga in the Desert PRN

When in Bloom Photo at Usery Mountain

After our yoga session we headed to Saguaro Lake. I always knew deep down inside that I loved water and I’m a surfer girl. The new and fun activity with surfing is stand up paddle boarding. I was so happy to meet the owners of No Snow Stand Up Paddle.

Stand up paddle boarding - Copy


After our paddleboard adventures and lunch we ventured to Agritopia. Agritopia is a community that combines city and country life. The community also has a farm, coffee shop, CSA, and farm stand. This is my ideal community – part city and part farm. The idea of being an urban farm girl is high on my radar.







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