Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First wine weekend...

So this past weekend I covered a few of the closest area wineries: Barboursville, Horton, and Keswick.

These pictures were taken at the beautiful, picturesque Keswick Vineyards, a smaller boutique winery whose tasting room has only been open since 2006.

There is a serene lake on the grounds and as you can see the vines are heavy with vibrantly colored grapes.

Keswick grows all their own grapes, which is something that not all VA wineries can boast.

I was highly impressed with Keswick and it now ranks as one of my top choices in VA, along with Barboursville... which never disappoints.

This is the third time in my life that I've been to Horton, and I'm sad to say I'm still not impressed. Yes, they have over 40 wines to try (though they will not let you try them all) but it almost seems as though they try to feature a wine of every variety and in turn fail to produce any one wine of spectacular quality. I tried all of the red wines, and while there were some that were enjoyable... nothing really captivated me. And the staff seemed a bit bored and ready to go home...

On the other end of spectrum, Barboursville is always a fun experience. Many wines to taste for a mere $4 (and you get to keep the glass). It is worth noting that the price must have recently gone up, since all the publications from the VA wine bureau state that tasting is only $3. Still -- it's no biggie, it's worth every penny.

The staff are knowledgeable and very fun -- even when they are busy (which is almost always) they take time with every person.

So from this trip, I'd highly recommend Keswick and Barboursville. My favorite wines were the Barboursville 2005 Octagon (a Bordeaux-style blend) and the Keswick 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are the flagship wines of the respective vineyards, and for good reason..... absolutely heavenly!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Welcome to my ADHD Life

Ok so I definitely have been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). They figured this out my junior or senior year of high school... a bit late in my opinion. But anywho, I'm not here to discuss that... I just thought it might be good to understand why it is I need to juggle so many things at once, because even I get a little overwhelmed with everything on my plate at times. But it is sadly necessary for me to have lots of options to choose from. Of course, I'm bad and usually put the most important (and therefore least fun) options til last and end up with a major case of procrastination...

So here's what I've got going right now...

Currently trying to plow through a novel for my literature class, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It's really not all that bad... wouldn't be my first choice for a book, but it's a pretty easy read. However, I've never been very good at reading something just because someone said I had to. Especially when I have a better option, like....

The Lost Symbol, the new Dan Brown novel.... THIS I can't put down, it is so good! So when I should be reading the aforementioned required text, I usually find myself with this one instead.

I am ALSO reading a non-fiction book about plot and structure to help me with my own novel.

On top of all of that lovely reading.... I have the Examiner.com articles, which I should be doing much more frequently but it requires nights out on the town and lately my bosses at the restaurant have decided I should never have a night off.

Well, that's what is going on with me lately... it's crazy and I feel completely scatterbrained all the time... but I don't know how else to be :)

And because I don't already have enough distractions, my favorite shows start up again on Monday. Can we say Hooray for The Big Bang Theory and Castle!?!? :) Mmmm Nathan Fillion...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crazy busy + Writer's Block = No Posts

So I've been completely slacking on everything this weekend... the blogs, the articles, the book... and even the school work.

Had an amazing day at the wine festival on Saturday -- more details and pics to follow soon.

For now, please read my article on Penny Lane that I finally published... I still have a couple more to write, but unfortunately have to come down off my panic high for a while to go to work. How lovely it would be to make enough money off of my writing to not have to work nights... Hey I can dream, right?

Not sure why the story feed for my articles didn't update but I posted the link below. Thanks, in advance, for looking.

Really want to help me out? Go ahead and subscribe to my articles... just click the subscribe button after following the story link.

Adios for now...

Penny Lane Pub: A bit of Liverpool in Richmond

Penny Lane Pub: A bit of Liverpool in Richmond

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Disappointing Dinner...

So as mentioned in a previous post, I had a lot of expensive ricotta to use up in the next couple days. I found a Rachael Ray recipe that would use most of it up and it seemed pretty quick and easy. It was a creamy pasta with spinach. (It's supposed to be topped with fried capers, but none of us are fond of them, so they were omitted)

It really was simple and quick... but also incredibly bland. The sauce was made up of ricotta cheese and skim milk and a dash of thyme and pepper. The spinach was wilted in olive oil and garlic and then mixed into the sauce with the pasta.

It wasn't bad by any means.... but just extremely tasteless. A LOT of salt needed to be added to really get it right. I do, of course, realize that if I had left the capers in the recipe that would have added a lot of the much needed saltiness -- but I've still decided this is a recipe I will not be trying again.

After finishing dinner I had to rush off to work. I slave away as a waitress to pay the bills -- let's face it, I haven't struck it rich writing yet! In my many years working in restaurants I have never seen such a chaotic night. Especially for a Tuesday!! It was a nightmare... but I survived and I'm so happy to be done for the evening.

Now I fully intend to relax and watch this past Sunday's "Mad Men" -- I'm obsessed! Isn't it great??