soup & a southern 75

Sunday means dinner at my parents. Rain or shine. #sundayscaries or a scary hangover. But as we are spending 4 out of 7 meals together in the next week, we decided to take a rare rain check. Perfect, because all I wanted to do on this rainy Sunday was make soup, camp out in front of the fire, and read the latest issue of Garden & Gun. I wanted something that would be fast–my DVR was full. Something tasty–my taste buds are in overdrive on Sundays. And something semi-healthy before Thanksgiving–i.e. more kale than heavy cream. So this creamy chicken tortellini soup with kale from was the answer. At this point, it’s pretty much a staple in our house, but it never disappoints. Even better, it paired perfectly with a Southern 75–which I happened to stumble upon while reading G&G. With IPA and bourbon as the two main ingredients, I knew it’d be an instant winner and it might even get me a foot rub without my shameless, nightly begging. IMG_0020


6 oz. India Pale Ale 2 oz. bourbon 3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1/2 oz. demerara syrup (or simple syrup)


Pour the beer into a chilled glass. In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, lemon juice, and demerara syrup with ice and shake vigorously. Strain the bourbon mixture into the beer and garnish with a lemon twist.

Soup and southern 75–and a foot rub–the perfect rainy sunday.



Does anyone else feel like Thanksgiving has come and gone and all your excess energy—ok, all your web browsing at work—is focused on Christmas? I mean, even my pants are tight, as if I’ve consumed the usual one too many plates of turkey, stuffing, and pecan pie at Thanksgiving.

Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is late this year? Or, most likely, it’s because I’m always focused on the next event or the next thing on my list. And my list of things to do just keeps getting longer while the days keep getting shorter (literally). My life consists of making lists and then making lists of lists to check. Lists on my phones. Lists on sticky notes. Lists on my desk. All I want for Christmas is to never see another f’ing list.

My life.
My life.

So this year, I’m trying to forget my lists for a few days and focus on spending Thanksgiving present with family and friends. I have so much to be thankful for this year–you know, every day things, like these. But also more important things that become even more important on days like Thanksgiving. I put them in a list for you, because, why wouldn’t I?

  1. feeling comfortable enough with my extended family to unbutton my pants halfway through the meal—and leave them that way for the rest of the day
  2. four generations sitting around one table. It makes you realize that farm-to-table has truly come full circle. But liberal viewpoints are still a country mile away.
  3.  two of the cutest nephews in the world—and my 18-year-old college freshman cousin, who make far bigger of a mess and a hell of a lot more noise I do. The baton has been passed.
  4. stories–new and old–told throughout the day. you never know what will come out a 90-year-old’s mouth, but it’s sure to be offensive to at least one group of people. on the other hand, we all know that at least one person will tell the Sonoma story. repetitiveness and offensiveness come hand in hand in this family, like turkey and gravy.
  5. and finally, these holiday napkins. With 32 family members in one house, the line between Thanksgiving and the holidays gets a whole lot thinner. After all, with clean plates and full stomachs, we all need a little exercise.

While those may not seem like your usual things to be thankful for, look closely. You will see that family, friends, food, good times, and good wine all make the list–and that, my friends, is a list that I never want to cross off.

Holiday Workout

My new favorite napkins

The transitive property of geometry: if a=b and b=c then a=c

The variables:

a = there is Christmas music playing on the radio

b = it is the holidays

c = it is now appropriate to follow the workout routine listed on the napkins

The proof: 

1) We can all agree that a=b.

2) The napkins prove that b=c.

3) Therefore, a=c. Since there is christmas music on the radio, then the holiday workout is now acceptable. You’re welcome and Happy Holidays!

Napkin Credit: Paper Skyscraper (330 East Blvd)
Napkin Credit: Paper Skyscraper (330 East Blvd)