Birthday | Ginger & Toasted Sesame

I turned 30 on Sunday. I got the best well wishes, cards and presents a person could ever hope for- including the new Instax camera pictured above. All the photos are from brunch with my family or my birthday celebration in DC on Saturday night. We started the night at Mandu and ended the night at Muzette for a night of Korean style karaoke. We drank sojutinis and sipped (or shot) way too much whiskey. It was so fun and everyone partook in the singing and dancing.

My heart wants to explode with all the love I have for these people! My brother flew in from Orlando and various friends took buses, trains and drove hours to come be with me to celebrate the big 3-0. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Ginger Paloma

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My parents are in the process of trying to sell their house and as a result, they are getting rid of the things that filled that house. From the bar in the basement I happily inherited a bottle of Patron and as soon as I brought it home I thought of all the ways I like to consume tequila (taking shots is not one of them). I thought of my two favorite mixers for alcohol- grapefruit juice and club soda and I thought of the paloma cocktail. I wanted to give the cocktail a special something extra and I also realized that I do not have a single recipe on this blog that involves ginger- very strange considering it’s one of my favorite ingredients and it’s the beginning of this blog’s name!

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I love ginger. I love the spicy, fresh taste it gives anything it’s in. I enjoy ginger candy, ginger ale, ginger in my curry and ginger in the Korean style marinades I make for meats and stir fry. I frequented a pizzeria in one of the neighborhoods I lived in in Seoul not for the soggy, overpriced pizza but for the homemade ginger ale they served. It was so spicy and beautifully garnished with a sprig of rosemary. I came across a recipe for homemade ginger syrup by David Lebovitz for the purpose of making your own ginger soda at home. I love how he simmered the ginger with the skin on. I found that it lends itself to coloring the syrup richly and any soda you make from it looks like the kind of ginger ale you get from the store.  Ginger Paloma-4

Boiling this pot of chopped ginger made my little studio smell amazing. I stored it in my fridge for weeks, making myself ginger soda as a little treat here and there by mixing it with club soda. A few tablespoons of ginger syrup mixed with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, tequila and club soda make a refreshing summer cocktail. A squeeze of lime and a salt rim make perfect accompaniments for this drink. Enjoy it outside on a warm summer evening, preferably with friends and good conversation.

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Ginger Paloma
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger syrup
  • ¼ cup of grapefruit juice
  • club soda
  • lime wedge
  • kosher salt
  1. Run the lime wedge along the rim of a glass. Put kosher salt in a shallow dish. Turn the glass upside-down and push into the salt.
  2. Stir together the tequila, ginger syrup and juice in the glass.
  3. Add enough ice to fill the glass to the top and pour club soda in to fill the glass to the rim.
  4. Garnish with lime wedge.


Food Adventure in NYC: Smorgasburg

NYC 6.15-2 NYC 6.15-1

I enjoyed this beautiful view of Manhattan from a college campus on the edge of the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey. I was on a bluff overlooking the river in a relatively empty, green park, taking in the striking skyline on such a sunny summer day. It wasn’t too hot and a nice breeze was coming off the water as we tried to take frame after frame of ourselves, testing out the remote shutter release on my camera with very little success. Selfies taken with DSLRs are not very practical, I learned. Sometimes you need to give into the practicality of the smart phone. I didn’t take very many photos last Saturday as I enjoyed watching three World Cup games (Uruguay and England both lost- terrible disappointments!) and several pints.

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Weekend Inspiration #2

Weekend Inspiration #2

My attempt at an herb garden on my balcony resulted in three withered and dead looking plants: mint, oregano and thyme. I’m not sure what I’ve done to them, but it looks like my oregano is making a comeback!

A Perfect Day in RVA: Church Hill

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I lived on the second floor of this building on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia for three years. Situated in the historic Fan District, my one bedroom apartment was a gem of a place. It was next to beautiful historic mansions but insanely affordable and in close proximity to friends, school and all sorts of delicious places to eat. I drove on the cobblestone street everyday to get work or walked down the avenue past the monument to Robert E. Lee on my way to class at VCU.

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Grilled Ramps Tart

Grilled Ramp Tart | Ginger & Toasted Sesame

I feel a bit silly writing about these alliums when every single blog seems to be exploding with their excitement over the appearance of ramps at their local farmers market or Whole Foods. There are so many beautiful recipes out there featuring these signals of spring. I wish there were more than a few weeks in the ramp season so that I could try more preparations of these delicious wild plants with their unique flavor that can be described as a blend of onion and garlic. Unfortunately, like most things this season, they are fleeting (it’s suppose to go up to 90 degrees this week and it snowed last month- spring, where did you go?).

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