Summer Rosé–Club W Edition

I first learned about Club W when I was looking for a bottle of Summer Water that I had seen in YesWayRosé’s IG feed. Wine clubs and wine subscriptions are an easy way to take the guesswork out of wine buying. But the the problem with wine clubs is that then you end up with bottles and bottles of wine. Unless you host a lot of dinner parties or drink a lot of wine, bottles of wine  start taking over your space. 

I like Club W because you can put your subscription on hold, and there is no minimum number of months that you have to sign up for. Other fun perks include recommended food pairing recipe cards & tasting notes.

Summer Water was sold out, but Club W had three other rosé offerings:

2014 Sauvetage Rosé from Côtes de Provence, France. Grapes: Grenache & Cinsault.

2014 Casa de Lila Tenpranillo Rosé from Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. Grapes: Tempranillo.

2014 Cocomero Rosato from Tuscany, Italy. Grapes: Sangiovese & Syrah.

I can’t wait to try these three wines. If you are interested in Club W, their current offer is 3 bottles of wine for $28.41–50% off regular price. Shipping and taxes are included. No promo code is needed. Keep in mind that promotions change, so take advantage of it soon.

Do you subscribe to a wine club?

Book Shelf: Capture the Moment


I love photography books. At the most basic level, photographs capture a moment in time. Photos can be staged, or entirely candid.

I admit sometimes I go weeks without using my SLR camera. I’ve come to rely on my phone’s camera much more than I used to. It’s just easier to reach for my phone than for my SLR. I’m always looking for inspiration that will help me get back into using my SLR.

Capturing the moment is a book by women, most of them moms, that is not only inspiring and beautiful to look it. It focuses on composition, techniques, and tips to improve your photography skills. In addition, it has creativity exercises at the end of each chapter.

Although it is not a book about food photography, I loved all the creative ways in which topics are presented.

I took out my camera, and spent an afternoon with a friend’s toddler. I picked a topic from the book:

Anticipate Emotion

Rather than asking subjects to smile for the camera, learn to anticipate genuine emotion, watching for laughter to bubble over during conversation, delight during gameplay, or surprise in an unexpected turn of events.

I followed little M around for about an hour. It’s amazing how children have this unbound sense of joy. The smallest thing makes them bubble up with laughter.

This is my favorite photo from that day:

Little M

Although it is not the best one, or the one with the best light, it conveys so much joy that it makes me smile every time I look it at. M was just stomping around, and enjoying every single second that he had at the park

If you are looking for some photography inspiration, I highly recommend this book. It made me find beauty in ordinary every day situations.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Capture the Moment for review purposes. I was not compensated for writing this post. All views are my own.

Washington, DC: Esencias Panameñas–A New Panamanian Restaurant

I was excited to find out that a restaurant showcasing Panamanian food would open in Washington, DC. My boyfriend and I were just in Panama in early July, and we immediately set a date to visit this new DC restaurant.

Panamanian food is based on a few staples: rice, corn, and beans/legumes. Many dishes use sofrito as a base. Sofrito is made of tomato, onion, garlic, and culantro (Eryngium foetidum). In the proteins department, there is a lot of seafood, cured beef known as tasajo, many chicken dishes, and a few types of chorizos. In my effort to be succinct, I may be oversimplifying a bit.

Esencias Panameñas opened in July 2015, and it is located at 3322 Georgia Avenue, NW in the Petworth neighborhood. It is evident that great care was taken to renovate and decorate the space. My first impression was positive; the restaurant is immaculately clean and welcoming. The hostess/waitress was friendly and welcomed us in in Spanish.

I opened the menu, and I was a bit surprised to see the somewhat high prices. I understand the dynamics behind opening a restaurant and setting a price, but these prices seemed outrageous for food that uses basic staple ingredients and very few, if any, expensive specialty ingredients. In addition, I was sitting in an establishment located in a mostly empty block of Petworth. In my head, I kept thinking about all the excellent local joints in my AU Park neighborhood that I could have visited instead, and gotten a solid meal at much lower prices: a sushi place that serves fresh crab, a Neapolitan pizza joint that makes one of the best pies in DC, a dive bar with the best bacon grilled cheese sandwich I’ve had… Sticker shock aside, we proceeded to order.

The restaurant has not obtained a liquor license yet, so alcoholic beverages were out of the question. There are a few traditional Panamanian non-alcoholic beverages available, but at $6-7 each, I decided against ordering one.

For an appetizer, we ordered the carimañolas—fried yucca dough encasing a ground meat filling. It took 30 minutes for us to get our appetizer, but the carimañolas were worth the wait. They were perfect. The yucca dough had a great consistency. Since carimañolas are fried, a lot of times they can be really greasy. These were not greasy at all. The filling was savory and succulent.


For my main dish I got the Plato Tipico which, according to the menu, included: saffron rice with chicken, olives, capers, peas & carrots—arroz con pollo in Spanish, potato salad with beets, ground corn chicken tamal, fried sweet plantains, and microgreens. The rice was good, despite the fact that it included not one thread or taste of saffron. And my chopped iceberg and red cabbage salad with non-descript dressing could hardly qualify as micro greens. The potato salad had a mushy consistency, but was flavorful. The tamal and fried sweet plantains were really good and comparable to their counterparts in Panama.

Plato Tipico
Tamal de Hoja de Pollo
My boyfriend ordered the fried “corvina” fish fillet in garlic and butter sauce over yucca and sautéed spinach. Corvina is seabass, which is plentiful and inexpensive in Panama, when compared to US prices. I found it odd that it was only $21 when other things on the menu seemed overpriced, since most of the seabass in the US comes from Chile and is quite expensive. I asked whether the corvina was indeed seabass, and our waitress stated that “despite the fact that the internet may say that corvina translates to seabass, that is not the case in Panama. The fish served at the restaurant is another very good type of fish that the owner imports directly from Panama.” Despite my efforts to find out what kind of fish it was, I received no concrete answer. The mystery fish arrived, sautéed and not fried. I’m still unsure of what it was–tilapia? Perhaps cobia? It was flavorful and the garlic butter sauce was silky and delicious. We also had fried patacones–green plantains, which were golden brown and crisp (not pictured).

Filete de Covina al Ajillo Con Espinaca y Yuca al Mojo

Some of the food did not quite meet my expectations, but I think that the restaurant is on the right track. Many Panamanians, myself included, will be happy to visit a local restaurant to satisfy their Panamanian food cravings. My recommendation: go on Saturdays when they offer a variety of traditional fried foods.

I hope that Esencias Panameñas updates their menu to reflect exactly what is being put on the plate, and irons out the few kinks that any new restaurant is bound to have. I’m eager to go back and try more of their dishes.

Here are some pages from the menu:

Summer Rosé

I can’t believe that we are in August already. Summer will be a distant memory sooner than expected. 

I have been making a lot of cocktails this summer, and now I feel like I have been missing out on rosé. I have been collecting rosé wines all summer long and now it’s time to start drinking them.

This is not a formal wine review. These are just some of the wines that I’m looking forward to drinking. These are all blends and under $20.

Love Noir Sultry Rosé 2014–Sometimes I pick up a bottle only because I like the color of the wine and the label. That’s what happened here. This is a fun inexpensive wine, and I’m hoping that it won’t dissapoint.

Vin de Pays Vaucluse Rosé, La Petite Caboche 2014–I was looking for a rosé to serve with BBQ and this was recommended and described as full bodied and spicy. 

MiMi en Provence Grand Reserve Rosé, 2014–I love this one, it is everything a rosé should be. Pairs great with food. I served it with a cheese plate.

Are you drinking rosé this summer? I would love to hear your favorites.

To do around DC: Taste of Studio–Studio Theatre’s Summer Benefit


Studio Theatre is hosting its summer benefit event, Taste of Studio, on Saturday August 1, 2015. It is a culinary celebration of the booming 14th Street food-savy neighborhood. Studio Theatre’s space will be transformed into a beer garden, there will be two floors with samples from local restaurants and bars, and a VIP Mixology suite.

In addition, there will be acting workshops led by teachers from the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit:, or the Facebook page at:

Hope to see you there!

Studio Theatre is located at 1501 14th St. NW, Washington DC, 20005

Disclaimer: I received an invitation for two to the event. I was not required to, or compensated for writing this post. All views are my own.