recap: a taste of georgetown

My friends knew they wouldn’t be able to spend my birthday with me in July, so they planned a birthday surprise for this past weekend. I knew it involved food but I wasn’t sure exactly what it would be until we grabbed iced coffees from Dean and Deluca, turned the corner, and saw Taste of Georgetown, which is an annual festival with food samples, wine and beer tastings, and live jazz. Seriously? An outdoor festival where I get to eat, drink, listen to music, and hang out my friends?! Best present ever.

My friends got a deal for five food tastings and six drink samples! It doesn’t sound like a lot, but we were stuffed- we had to leave, digest, and come back to finish!

By the way, if you follow my blog for gluten-free inspiration, turn away now. I’m about to really disappoint. But I couldn’t say no to all the amazing offerings!

First up- wine at approximately 10:45am. Our first sample was SkinnyGirl wine, because we love Bethenny!

Next up: my friends each got a different crepe from Cafe Bonaparte and I of course stole a bite of each. The caramelized apple one was my favorite by far.
The next sample was our favorite sample of the day: Belmont Charcuterie {handcrafted cured meat}, Pesto Aioli, and Pickles on Grilled Ciabatta and a little cup of gazpacho on the side from Degrees Bistro {located in the Georgetown Ritz Carlton}.
My first ever Lobster Roll from Georgetown Catering! Probably my second favorite item of the day- it ran out really early in the day, so we were happy we went so early.
I was most excited about the dish from Mie N Yu- Hisho Miso Cold Duck Noodles with House Made Duck Pastrami, Buckwheat Soba Noodles, Toasted Sesame, Japanese Greens, Yuzu Kosho, Aromatic Akamiso Duck Broth, Pickled Daikon, and Crispy Garlic. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as great as it sounded, so we were a bit disappointed.
Next up, we all sampled Filomena’s Ravioli Alla Matrimonia: Roasted Meatballs on Baked Cheese Ravioli. Soo delicious!
Dessert was not one, but two Georgetown Cupcakes- molten lava and salted caramel! We loved the salted caramel but I could only manage a tiny bite of the molten lava’s cream cheese frosting.

After a few hours of lounging by the waterfront, we went back for more. The longest line we waited in was for paella from Bodega.
We couldn’t waste our tickets! Here we have Paella and Jamon Serrano, both from Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge. I loved the jamon but wasn’t blown away by the paella.
Lastly {thank goodness} we had Veggie Pad Thai from Bangkok Joe’s. Good but not amazing {maybe it was because I was so full}.

Crazy amount of food, huh? I felt a bit gluttonous! We had to digest {part two}, so we found a shady spot on the lawn outside a Georgetown church who openend their gates for the festival.  I ended up giving my drink tickets to my friends, because I couldn’t bear to put anything else into my stomach! I loved this angle:

Thank you for the amazing present, Lindsay and Karrie!


link roundup for the week!

I pretty much relate to every word in this post by Gen Y Girl, entitled “You Don’t Have to Have It All Figured Out.” Can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I graduated! P.S. I think Kayla and I could be good friends if we lived in the same city 🙂

I love the Oprah quote at the end of Elle’s post on being thankful.

Here’s a pretty crazy True Story from Yes and Yes: My Mom Made Me Smuggle Drugs.

I need to study these 6 Pro Tips for Tasting Wine before my next field trip to The Wine Feed!

Going on a summer vacation soon? Read these tips for hitting the ground running when you get back home.

And another LifeHacker helpful hint: use Mason jar lids as egg rings!

And in very important life debates: apparently wooden cutting boards are better than plastic ones. Which means I need to learn how clean my wooden one!

Apparently coworking originated at Regus Office Suites..but not in the way they think.

My roommate just told me about an awesome browser app called Invisible Hand. If you’re online shopping, it will show a discreet pop-up bar if it finds a better price on the same product on another site. Amazing for consumers {though probably not for many e-commerce retailers}.

roundup: wine tasting with the blog girls

What do you expect when you put a bunch of bloggers in a room with wine? Well, lots of girl talk, giddiness, and giggles, for one thing. But also a wholeee buncha blog posts over the course of the next few days!

Here’s a roundup of the blog girls’ blog posts from our Wine Feed event {for mine, here}:

Carolina Gypsy- The Wine Feed

Linnie at Large- Fun: The Wine Buzz

Nutritionella- Leaping to the Library

Fannetastic Food- Triangle Area Blogger Wine Tasting Meetup

recap: wine event with the blog girls

First order of business: what should the official name of Triangle young female bloggers group be?! It’s quite a mouthful as is {that’s what she said}.

On to the more exciting stuff: last night, I joined a few of the blog girls (and friends!) for our second event: a wine tasting and lesson at The Wine Feed. I chose not to drink because I’m still feeling congested, but I sure did learn a lot (both about wine and about the other girls).

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There was the girl who organized this event {she’s also my Twitter-turned-real-life-friend}, Sara of Watermelon Roses. There was the budding artist management professional and my fellow co-worker at The Raleigh Forum, Miss Heather of Capital H Creative. There was the reporter that I met at the Raleighwood party, Linnie of Linnie at Large. There was the girl who blogs on all things North Carolina, Katherine of Carolina Gypsy. There was the Chapel Hill healthy living coterie, Anne of Fannetastic Food and Elle of Nutritionella. And there was Rachael, the non-blogger hopefully turned potential blogger after last night’s event!

Since only a few of my close friends blog, it’s not usually a topic I get to chat about often. But this was such a fun chance to chat about blogging tips, scheduling posts, generating content, the importance of images, and other insider blogging info.

And then we all got a little weird fun:

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A question to the blog girls: what was favorite part of the evening? 

A question to the blog girls and anyone who’s been to The Wine Feed: what was your favorite wine? 

P.S. In case you were wondering: Coterie- A small group of people with shared interests or tastes, esp. one that is exclusive of other people.

you’re invited: wine tasting

I just got back from the Bahamas yesterday, so I should be doing a tribute post, right? I’m working on it but my sister and friends put so much pressure on me to have a magnificent post, so I have to put tons of thought into it 🙂

In the meantime, I wanted to post an invite to any blog girls out there.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

  • What: wine tasting + class
  • Where: The Wine Feed
  • When: February 28th @ 7pm
  • Who: Triangle Bloggers + friends!
  • RSVP: by Feb 24th

To RSVP, just get in touch with me!

trip to hinnant family vineyards

I am finally getting around to posting some long overdue photos. On my sister’s birthday, part of her surprise scavenger hunt was a trip to a vineyard in Pine Level, North Carolina called Hinnant Family Vineyards. We had a blast sampling the muscadine wines {which I recently discovered are my favorite kind of grape!} for only $5. And we got wine glasses to take home- I added mine to my growing collection {which includes Three Foxes in Delaplane, Virginia and Dennis Vineyards in Albemarle, North Carolina}.

Interestingly, there is a small graveyard across from the winery

Welcome to the vineyard!

Wine glass display

Hinnant wine glasses

My sister sipping her wine. Love that ring (it's from our grandmother)

It wakes me up daily, don’t need no Starbucks

After lots of searching and taste-testing, I’ve determined my four favorite coffees to brew at home. Brace yourself, because none of them are from Starbucks! Like my reference to this song in the title?!

Just like I did with wine, I’d like to do a coffee tasting to narrow in on my preferences. From the four coffees below, I think it’s safe to say that I prefer light-medium roasts over dark roasts. But I think it’s easy to confuse one’s likes/dislikes about strong vs weak with light vs dark roasts.

Dunkin Donuts Decaf- Medium Roast

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Archer Farms Coconut Macaroon (found at Target)

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Trader Joe’s Organic Fair Trade Breakfast Blend (Medium Roast)

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Harris Teeter Limited Edition Toasted Almond

Photo credit: my Droid!

wine tasting tips + a review

This morning, it randomly occurred to me that we might have been supposed to tip at our wine tasting the other day. I did a quick google search and found that tips are not expected (whew!). I also came across several websites that list wine tasting etiquette, so I thought I would share some of their dos and don’ts. Shockingly, we didn’t break any of the rules! That might be a first 😉

In general, the rules are: don’t bring loud kids (though we did bring the dogs, which are like children. But quiet ones!). Don’t confuse the palette-cleaning crackers with a buffet. Don’t smoke. Don’t wear perfume. Don’t chew gum. Ask for a spit cup. Don’t complain about the tasting room fees. Don’t get too drunk! Don’t ask for the sweet wine too soon, because it affects the palette.

As I was reading these unofficial rules, I realized how important it is to choose a winery where you will feel comfortable. We called two on the way out to Albemarle and ended up choosing to go to the one with longer hours but also friendlier staff members. In case you don’t know me and my sister in real life, we are very casual and not interested in putting on airs at a pretentious place!

Dennis Vineyards & Winery was exactly what we were looking for. Luckily, we were two of only a few patrons, so we received stellar individualized service. As I mentioned in my last post, I ended up realizing that I like semi-dry wines, not sweet wines. The wine tasting attendant customized our tasting menu to our tastes, choosing each wine based on our reaction to the previous. Because of this, we were able to narrow down our selection as we went.

On October 8, they are holding a Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp, complete with a fall hay ride. I encourage you to make the pretty drive to Albemarle to check it out. And don’t hesitate to contact me if you do decide to go!

a jaunt to the vineyard

On Sunday, my sister and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to a vineyard as part of our “leaving work at work” pact. We are of course still in love with Raleigh, but it’s nice to get away to rejuvenate and refresh every so often- or in my case, accidentally every weekend (DC then vineyard then DC again!).

So we grabbed PSLs from Starbucks, pumped up the iPod, rolled the windows down, put on the cruise control, and acted like the silly sisters we are.

a long overdue life update

I’m sitting with my sister on the couch and she is begging me to write a life update on my blog- which is funny, because she knows everything that goes on in my life!

I was about to type “The past few weeks have been a whirlwind” but I realized 1) I overuse the expression “whirlwind” and 2) when is my life not a whirlwind?! Good thing I like it hectic.

  • Smashingly successful open house for our coworking space (officially The Raleigh Forum); tons of people came out to explore the space, mingle, and enjoy our refreshments
  • Endless promotions for the space
  • Hired an Office Assistant (that’s right, we have an employee! So cool)
  • Spoke with my sister about The Raleigh Forum at a Ladies NC networking event
  • Assigned to several new projects at my recruiting job
  • Put the almost-final touches on my apartment- pictures coming soon! Let’s just say I’m very happy
  • Did a Warrior Dash-esque run through Umstead Park
  • Made potato leek soup, Moroccan chicken stew, and Mexican bean salad
To come:
  • Wine & Design session with a new friend
  • Checking out Benelux Cafe
  • Meeting with new babysitting client
  • A hike in Hillsborough
  • Cupcakes at Gigi’s with another new friend
  • Biking with another new friend (that’s 3+ new friends!)
  • Weekly tennis match
  • Recuperating from my little cold
  • Planning a 2012 cruise with the girls. I spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E 🙂
[photo credit: here]