26 August 2015

The Wine Record: Meet Joe

Everyone. Thank you so much for all of your kind words/ calls/ messages about my new job! You are all so supportive and inspiring and I am inexplicably lucky for your encouragement.

In collaboration with the shop, I am excited to bring a new series: The Wine Record. Here we will cover all kinds of topics. Sometimes I'll write about specific informational topics: "What do people mean when they say they like a 'big red'?" other times I will let you know what is going on around the shop: "Check out which wines are on tap" and sometimes there will just be a funny note to share. I'm particularly fond of this one making its way around the internet:

In this installment of Wine Record, please allow me to introduce another member of the Oakley Wines team.

Meet Joe Purdue!

Joe joins the team as Bar Manager, hailing from OTR's acclaimed Abigail Street and Senate where he spent the better part of last year as GM and was a member of the staff since their opening in 2011.

Joe got his start in the industry after graduating from the University of Cincinnati when he started working at Boca as a Server's Assistant. He spent two years in the position, eventually moving up to Head SA. Boca is responsible for Joe's long time friendship with Zach and also for fostering his love for food and wine.

"I'm joining Oakley Wines because I love the knowledge and enterprise Zach has with wine and his approach to selling it." says Joe of his decision to accept the Bar Manager position. "I really look forward to expanding upon existing relationships around the shop/bar and building new ones with people that live in the same neighborhood as me. Oh, and there is also that small part where I get to pick a great wine brain all the time."

Joe is looking forward to the chance to show the city what a creative scene we can offer in a facet of the Cincinnati bar scene that is relatively untapped- literally. The Cellar at Oakley Wines will offer rotating wines on tap.

Join me in welcoming Joe, you guys. I'm so glad you joined the team, Joe! Looking forward to working with you.

21 August 2015

A Whimsy Brunch

I am of the belief that there is little substitute for the company of smart women. Especially smart, funny women.

I am also of the belief that there is little absolutely no substitute for brunch.

In fact, I have played hostess for some brunches in the past. There was the time I made the quiches, and then there was the time I had a brunch with almost no cooking. There was also the time of the waffle bar. I can't believe I didn't take enough photos to post about that. But we press on.

In my opinion, brunch is really about the company more than anything else. But of course, there were some awesome ideas on Pinterest that I just had to take advantage of. The result was a bite-sized, whimsy brunch with some of the best gals around.

Invitations went out. Handmade by the talented Ashley. And in keeping with the theme of the Alice in Wonderland quote, everything was adorned with "Eat Me" and "Drink Me" tags.

Here are a few photos of our spread:

And of course, there were more than enough mimosas to go around:

But honestly, it's the people that really made the morning/afternoon (we brunch appropriately) a success. Thank you, you wonderful friends! XO

Until the next one.

17 August 2015

In which I make an announcement...

Hello, you. I have missed you exceedingly. I thought we were over the times in which I take such a long hiatus from blogging.

But apparently, life happens and sometimes when life happens, the digital world takes a bit of back seat, no? I think we kind of all strive for a life where we are so deeply experiencing it that we don't have the time to bother sharing/ tweeting/ posting about it. So, that is what happened. Life.

But now, I'm so excited to share what has been going on! Along with some really, really great recipes. I have an arsenal for you guys. 

I am thrilled to announce that I am making a huge career change! After 5 years in the business-to-business industrial world of paperboard sales, I have accepted a position as shop manager at Oakley Wines!

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I have been helping out on Friday nights during the shop's very popular wine tasting events. I have become close friends with shop owner Zach Eidson over the years and believe whole-heartedly in his approach. I featured Oakley Wines in my Sweet Shop series a few years ago, and have really enjoyed getting to know more about the industry, about the shop, and about Zach and his awesome wife, Valarie. 

Folks must agree with my fond opinion of Oakley Wines, because the shop has been quite successful. In fact, they are currently in the middle of an exciting expansion project. See more about it on their Facebook page.

The expansion will feature light bites, two full service bars, live music, and expanded hours. All in the same great location. The basement is being converted into a cozy wine cellar with an impressive bar. I am beyond excited.

With the expansion came the need for additional personnel, so Zach offered me the chance to join the team full time. After carefully thinking about what it would mean to leave behind my current position, I knew that this opportunity felt like a dream job and I happily accepted the title of Shop Manager. My first full time day is August 24th where I will learn the ins and outs of one of my favorite small businesses.

I am looking forward to being involved in such a refreshing and unique environment, working with some incredibly talented humans, doing something that I love each day, and of course helping the wonderful folks of Oakley (and beyond) pick out their new favorite wines : ).

I will definitely miss the job I am leaving behind and the people I have spent so much time with over the last 5 years, but couldn't be more over the moon about this new adventure. Come by the shop to hang out with me, chat, have a glass of wine and support a wonderful local business.

Cheers, all.

05 May 2015

A trick

You know what one thing comes up the most when I'm cooking with someone else?
Onion tears.

I would say more than half of the people I cook with make a comment about how much they hate cutting onions because of the crying.

Well... here is the solution!
Put the onion in the freezer.

That's right! Put the onion in the freezer for 15 minutes before you cut it and poof! No tears!

Thanks Lifehacker

30 April 2015

Dee does NYC: Smorgasburg

"Oh my gosh... you know what you should do while you're in New York?!" About 12 of my friends asked me.

"What?" I asked.

"SMORGASBURG!!!!" Said all of them.

You guys. Smorgasburg is essentially my idea of heaven. Think Taste of Cincinnati, but like, better. Think cuisine fusion and bacon in dessert and all the creative foodie minds setting up booths EVERY WEEKEND from April to October. I mean, come on. Get it together Cincinnati, I want this.
To top it off, it's in Williamsburg, so, you know, all the cool kids are there.

It's a food flea market and it is incredible.

Here is a look at what we snacked on:

Bite Size Kitchen's Steam Buns. When my sister and I decided that we needed to go to Smorgasburg, this is the first place she mentioned.

We ordered all three and they were outstanding. My pork belly was a little too fatty, but the flavor was still amazing. The jalapeno and cucumber together were perfect. My sister's favorite was the duck.

Lumpia Shack's spring rolls

We, of course, got the sampler. I honestly don't know if I could choose a favorite. They were all bursting with flavor. Everything was fresh and the wraps were crispy. Maybe the mushroom was my favorite, but just because it was different.

AsiaDog for hot dogs. Duh.

These were another hit. You pick what kind of meat you want (or veggie!). Then, you pick the style toppings you want. I went with the Ginny: kimchi and nori flakes. Dan (my sister's boyfriend) got the Sidney: a relish with mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and crushed peanuts. Again, no one was disappointed.

Vendome Macaron Bar

We got pistachio (green), raspberry (red), vanilla (white), chocolate (brown), and sea-salt caramel (blue). The sea salt caramel was by far the winner. Although, they were all amazing.

Butter & Scotch's Bacon Cupcake

The bacon, you guys. Swoon.

I had so much fun in New York, but this might have been my favorite thing on the trip. No one is surprised I loved the eating event though, right? Big surprise.

22 April 2015


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A tip

You guys.

I do a lot of cooking with spicy peppers.
Especially Jalapeno.

You know when you get the pepper juices on your skin and it burns like crazy? I just read the most incredible tip thanks to Plated....

What a genius idea!

Follow them on Instagram here. They post all kinds of great tips!