Brew wife (/bro͞o wīf/) : a sophisticated lady married to a wonderful man who is obsessed with making (beer, ale, etc.) by steeping, boiling, and fermenting malt and hops while turning our small apartment into a chaotic mess and completely taking over the fridge to fill it with beer.

jade's birthday

My little sister turned 16! Time goes by so fast but I have to say it has been wonderful to have her in my life, she is such an amazing young woman. We are so much alike, and we have so much fun together. Even our birthdate is just one day apart.... but with a 16 year difference!

This is a picture of us on Jade's first birthday... she is so adorable!

So for this special occasion I decided to make her birthday cake! Her request.... black velvet! It is pretty much like a red velvet cake but dyed black instead of red.

I followed the recipe from Sweetapolita who I am totally in love with, after Martha Stewart of course, but she does have the most beautiful cake recipes I have seen.
You can find the recipe here. I doubled the recipe to make 12 cupcakes plus two 6" cake rounds. I also used Luxardo cherries for the cream cheese frosting and for decoration, which I covered in edible glitter.

A note on Luxardo cherries: if you have never had Luxardo Maraschino cherries you have not really had a Maraschino cherry! They are the most decadent cocktail cherries ever, they are pricey but worth the splurge, trust me.
I am very proud of how it turned out. For the cake, I cut the two rounds in half to make four layers. I went with a naked cake design, which means that you fill each layer but don't cover the sides of the cake with frosting, leaving the layers and the contents exposed.
We celebrated with a nice dinner at an old 1940's aviation era style restaurant, 94th Aero Squadron, she and her friends wore pin-up inspired outfits! This is how I arranged the cake and cupcakes!
Happy Birthday Jade!
P.S. check out her blog! thegirlwiththeredbandana 

tent for cats

Our cat Hello, short for Hello Kitty, came to us a night in February. She cried all night by our window and I couldn't resist. I fed her. Big mistake! Feed a cat, they never leave! I have never owned a cat, honestly I really didn't like cats very much. My experience with cats was usually negative. But she is the sweetest little thing, without being overly annoying. And the best part is that she gets along great with my dogs Angel and Whiskey.

So on Pinterest  I came across a tutorial for making a tent for cats! Its rather easy and you probably already have all the supplies you need.

  • 3 wire hangers
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • T-shirt
  • Towel or small pillow
Pretty much what you need to do is bend the wire hangers so that they form a dome, then make holes on the cardboard and use tape to attach the wire hangers to the bottom of the cardboard.
Then, all you need to do is use the t-shirt to cover what you just built, I used safety pins to hold it in place. And then place a towel or small pillow on the inside for your cat to lay on.
She seems to like her tent very much, and it is especially useful when it comes to feeding time because she can hide and eat in there without being bothered by Angel and Whiskey trying to eat her food.

repurpose those bottles

re·pur·pose (rēˈpərpəs/):
        to change (something) so that it can be used for a different purpose.
Has it ever happened that you buy some beer (or wine, or .....anything for that matter) and totally fall in love with the bottles? What to do? Maybe you place them on a shelf for display or store them until you have an idea of how to use them; which is usually my case, I tend to store many items just waiting for that spark of inspiration.
Anyway, I came across a great idea for repurposing bottles, particularly beer bottles. This is an easy project to transform those dust catching, space claiming bottles into soap dispensers!
  • bottle you wish to repurpose
  • hand drill
  • cork
  • razor blade
  • bottle pump (long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle) 
  • straw (just in case your pump is not long enough)

As you can see, I had to attach a straw to the pump because it was not long enough to reach the bottom of my bottle.

Step one: use the hand drill to make a hole into the center of the cork. This will take a while since you want the hole to be large enough to fit the widest part of the pump.

Eventually I had to resort to using an apple corer to carve out the right size hole.
Feel free to use whatever tool you need for this but be careful not to break the cork.
Step two: carefully use the razor blade to shave the bottom half of the cork enough that it fits snug into the bottle.
Step three: slide the cork into the pump making sure the fit is secure. Then fill your bottle with your soap of choice and fit the corked pump into the bottle.
I made one for the kitchen sink and one for the bathroom!

the bundt test drive

I couldn't resist...I had to bake something in the bundt pan I found at the thrift the past weekend. I must confess it is my first time baking in a bundt pan and I did not know what to expect. I pride myself for having above average baking skills but I was still hesitant with fear that the cake would stick to the pan and would be complicated to unmold.
But I must say I am pretty pleased with how the cake turned out!

So I made a Banana & Fig Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze. !!

I followed this banana bread recipe from Martha Stewart The Best Banana Bread Recipe. I had to double ingredients to accommodate the size of the bund pan. I also used brown sugar instead of white, used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and added figs!

I had to add the figs, they were just so sweet and delicious!
I drizzled the cake with a cream cheese glaze, Martha's recipe of course, you can find it here. And topped it with chopped roasted pecans.
I am happy with how my first bundt cake turned out! I am taking it to work tomorrow for a potluck, hopefully everyone will love it!


sunday fun day

Sundays are usually relaxing, most of the time we spend it at home just hanging out while we do some chores. Today we organized our pantry..... or as we like to call it....Narnia!
We have a pretty large pantry (thank goodness), and that is were all of the brewing equipment is stored.

We all also keep the toiletries, some of our cleaning supplies, craft stuff, gardening tools, and pet related stuff in there.

This is what Narnia looks like....
yes...pretty intense! But this is our largest storage area in the apartment.... and at least Laz keeps the walls fun with 'beer art" 
After we organized we went out to a couple local spots for some much needed beer....
This is at the Titanic Brewery, our go-to neighborhood place.
Ambar is drinking: Shipbuilder's Oatmeal Stout
Laz is drinking: Steve's Ride Session IPA 
And this is at Sports Grill... with some wings of course :)
Ambar is drinking: Stone Brewing Company Coffee Milk Stout
Laz is drinking: Cigar City Happening Now IPA

what is old is new again

It's no secret I like to collect things! Way too many things! I have all sorts of random collections which include bird cages, cake stands, cookie cutters, vintage Pyrex, pill boxes, tea sets, etc, etc... I mean, who doesn't collect stuff?
Most of the things I collect I find in markets, antique shops, and thrift stores, but some are things I rescued from my grandparents and other family members.
Thrift shopping is one of my favorite hobbies and I wish there were more good thrift stores here in Miami as there are in New York.

Anyway, I lucked out this weekend with these amazing finds at a local thrift in Coconut Grove called "This and That". It is a small store but merchandise moves fast so if you check often you will surely find something worthwhile.

So, I found this awesome heavy aluminum bund cake pan that I can't wait to use!
And this lovely amber color Pyrex that even came with a stand! Yay!

And..... look at this super cool beer growler Laz found! Its from a brewery in Indiana!

I guess we both lucked out!
If you have a favorite place you like to thrift please share the luv and let me know as a comment, thanks ;)


beer or wine

I am halfway through completing a masters in liberal studies. It has been quite an interesting experience since my background is in science. I am really enjoying all my courses so far which have included anthropology, astronomy, art, and philosophy. But the class I enjoyed the most was a wine appreciation course I took during the summer. I learned so much about wine that I almost feel as snobbish with wine as my husband is about beer, Ha!

This is a picture of our last class, I almost look like an expert ;) ... or at least I think I do!

Anyway, I found this awesome chart that helps us beer drinkers (especially Laz) find a wine that might match their preference in beer.

So..... I think I will actually test this out! I'll post details to let you know how it goes...


into the bottle

So after weeks fermenting, the beer makes it's way into the bottle!
Much like brew day, "bottling day" requires pots, equipment, sanitizing solutions, capping tools, and lots of ....  you guessed it.... bottles! yet again another mess going on.


So you might think this is good, lets drink! enough with the drama! Well, No! The beer has to sit in the bottle for another two weeks, and it also benefits from another week in the fridge. Our only fridge! yes, so there lies the issue....the fridge which will be completely crowded with beer.

I guess you can say the benefit is that we are forced to buy fresh grocery items almost everyday. And thank goodness our supermarket is just across the street, which makes things so much easier.
I shouldn't complain... What's  better than a fridge full of beer? In my opinion, a fridge full of food or other drinks or ... cakes! but I'll shut up for now.



Because we all need a little beer inspiration from time to time. I found some funny quotes to get me through the work week....

The perfect mural! this is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

This explains exactly how I'm feeling right now!

So definitely drink beer, or wine... or both!

I should be going to this place for lunch!

I'm going through the typical Tuesday-weekend-withdrawal mood swings but soon enough it will be Friday, ooohhh...and don't forget happy-hour Thursday! Yay! Almost there!


brew day

Its brew day again. What can I say, me and "brew day" have had a love/hate relationship for a while. I cannot lie about the fact that I love the sweet nutty smell of grains drifting all over the apartment.
See how amazing the grains look!

And that while brewing we drink a good amount of beer...
This is our latest homebrew, a brown ale, which still needs a little more time to developed in the bottle, but was rather tasty either way.

And what else do you do while making beer? drink more beer!

But it is also chaotic in the kitchen, there are large pots, gallons of water, and equipment scattered everywhere.

And my is husband constantly asking for assistance, I am the designated assistant home brewer after all, but it really takes away from whatever plans I had that day.
So I decided that if my involvement in brew day is unavoidable, I might as well document some of the interesting things about it.

Let the fermentation begin!

At least I should be thankful that clean-up is not such a chore because Laz is really good at keeping things neat on his own.