Monday, December 31, 2012


Earlier this week I had decided that I would not post what my resolutions are on my blog, but I have had a change of heart. I am currently sitting at my shop trying to write a toast for New Years Eve. While I sit here, munching on a baguette sandwich sammich and trying to scribble down a short and sweet toast, my goals and resolutions for the next year keep fogging my mind. Besides, writing them down is the first step towards achieving them....right?

2013 Resolutions and goals:

1) Work on my photography! 
Yes, I need more photography in my life. It is what I am passionate about. I have a very photogenic mind and I LOVE to get lost in pictures. I have a huge library of photos on my computer that are just dying to get into a photo album. In 2013 I hope to get out and take more photos. I also hope to share my photos with more people. 

2) 10,000 steps a day!
For Christmas my sister got me a Fitbit pedometer. This pedometer rocks! It tracks my steps, distance and calorie burn. I love, love, LOVE it. The Fitbit pedometer syncs up with my laptop so it keeps a record of my steps over time. I will do this even if it means walking back and fourth in my tiny apartment. 

3) Learn more about other wine regions.
My wine shop is focused on wines from the Northwest. When it comes to international wines I can get lost. I want to work on learning more about international wines, regions and history. I have just brushed the surface and I want to dive in.

4) Go on more adventures.
2012 was a year where I had to devote lots of time to my new business. I gave up social activities, weekends off and had to miss events to take care of my business. In 2013 I hope to give more time for myself and have more adventures. I want to get back into hiking, go on day trips and maybe even get away for a weekend! I know my dog and fiance would be happy!

Other things I want to work on is my nutrition, self discipline, running, and work on growing my business. 

Now that 2013 is about 10 hours away....I better get to writing that toast of mine!

Hope you all have a fun and safe New Years Eve! 


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Urban Decanter Tomato Soup!

Tomato Soup!

One fruit (or vegetable) that I dislike the most is the TOMATO! There are a few exceptions in my book to  my feelings about tomatos. The exceptions are salsa, catsup ketchup, and tomato! The tomato soup recipe I am going to share below is from earlier this year. I used produce from the Forest Grove Farmers Market and served the soup at my wine bar Urban Decanter

Tomato Soup:
1 onion
5 garlic cloves
2 TBSP butter
2 sage leafs 
3 basil leafs
8 cups tomato, diced
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth *Add more or less depending on how thick or thin you want the soup.
1 tsp corn starch (thickening agent, optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a stock pot, add onion and garlic then cook till tender over medium heat. Chop up sage and basil then add it to the pot. Toss the ingredients together a few times then add in the diced tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook 3 to 4 minutes then add the broth. Next, mix the corn starch with half a cup of cold water then add to the mixture. Bring the ingredients in the pot to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Finish the soup up by using a hand blender or food processor to puree the soup. 

The garnish I used with this soup with a crostini topped with goat cheese. 

One of my favorite soup tips: My soups stay warm in a crock pot. As the soups get thick, I pour in a portion of wine with hot water to reduce the thickness. I love the flavor that the wine adds to my soups.

My guests loved this soup. I look forward to serving this one again next year during the Farmer's Market!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy New Year!

Buh-Bye 2012, Hello 2013!

Now that another year is nearly over, it is my time to reflect on the past year and to look to the next. It is important for me to look back and cherish the memories, think about lessons learned, and to set goals for the year to come. The past year has brought many changes, adjustments and new experiences to my life. A few of the changes include leaving my office job to be a wine shop owner, I got engaged, and I also became part of a new community. In these three things there are a multitude of lessons learned, but I won't bore you with that. Instead, here are some fun pictures from 2012!  

Thank you Joshua Chang for the fun photo session!
Missy in her stunna shades!
Slicing onions at work is SO MUCH easier with ski goggles on. 

The BEST photo from 2012. Beau proposed to me (again)
at our engagement party with the actual ring. He done GOOD!
The wine bar I now own also has a menu so I have become very familiar
 with a panini grill! The kitchen is a very simple kitchen so I must
 use creativity when brainstorming new dishes.

Now that I am towards the end of this post, I would like to leave a few photos of some of the favorite wines that I have enjoyed over this past year. Learning about wine is such a continuous journey and I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store!  Thank you to everyone who has shared a glass with me!

Happy New Year!