mbEvery year, after the annual Christmas letter has been mailed, I inevitably get several notes, comments, texts or tweets saying some form of “that was hilarious… you should write a book.”  On other occasions, people have said to me (often with a Salted Alfajores Bar in their hand) “When are you going to open a bakery?”

(I should note some of these people are not actually blood relatives, or otherwise paid to say these nice things.)

Writing a book or opening a bakery both seem rather ambitious, especially given the fact I love my day job as a children’s librarian.  I struck upon writing a blog to fuel the creative and culinary corners of my brain.

That was three years ago.

It has been a rather grand idea.  I love this blog.

My plan had been to create an online notebook of recipes, stuffed with clippings and photos and memories… but neater.  (I’m not a particularly neat human.)  I think I’ve succeeded.  Over the past two years I’ve shared my favorite recipes and reminisced a bit about my crazy, unpredictable life through food (this food-focused life has included extensive travel and multi-year stints in Brazil and London… and has been influenced by the real chef in the family, my brother John.)

A few facts, if you’re into that sort of thing:

Day Job: School Librarian/Media Specialist at a local PreK-8 school.  I seem to spend more time reading children’s books than “grown up” books, which is fine by me.

Fueled by: Coffee. Lots of it.  Often from Baked and Wired.

My literary weakness: Cookbooks.  I’m hopeless… I have dozens and dozens of them.  But I have more children’s picture books.

On a rainy day, I head to: Politics and Prose.

Favorite International Destination: London.  Specifically Borough Market.  Even more specifically, Monmouth Coffee at Borough Market.  Or perhaps Buenos Aires.  Or Melbourne.

Most Obscure Place I’ve Been:  Noaukchott. (Mauritania).  Long story.

Favorite US City (beyond DC): Chicago.  Specifically the Fulton Market neighborhood.

Favorite Restaurants in DC: Et Voila, 1789, Del Campo, Le Diplomate, Rose’s Luxury and Blue Duck Tavern.

Favorite Foods:  This changes constantly, but among my favorites (in no particular order) are dulce de lecheempanadas, fresh baked cookies and/or brownies, spaghetti bolognese, and my brother’s moqueqa.

About the name…

Bourbon and Brown Sugar.  Honestly, I decided upon it on a whim. I liked the ring.  I have a crumpled 10-year-old recipe from Cooking Light titled “Bourbon and Brown Sugar flank steak” that is rather fabulous. Not only is bourbon a favorite drink, but Bourbon Steak is one of my favorite restaurants in DC (bit of a splurge… but practically perfect in every way – I mean, they serve truffled mac and cheese and duck-fat fries – what else is there in life?), and who doesn’t love Brown Sugar? In everything?  Oh, and now, people bring me bottles of bourbon when they come round for dinner… which is kinda brilliant.

Thanks for joining my adventure!

If you would like to contact me, I can be reached on: bourbonandbrownsugar@gmail.com




Recent Press Coverage:

January 2016

Huffington Post Canada – Quinoa Recipes: How to Use This Super Grain for Every Meal

August 2015

the feed feed on Instagram – Blackberry Scones

February 2015

Huffington Post – Dulce de Leche Recipes that Dreams are Made of

January 2015

24 Delicious DIY Sauces You’ll Want to Put on Everything

You can also find me on:


Readers: Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. It absolutely makes my day when I hear from you!

If you have a question about a specific recipe, please leave it in the comments so that everyone can benefit from the answer. If you just want to drop me a note to say hi, please send me an Email.

I do get a fairly large number of emails, so please be patient with me if it takes me a while to respond. I do my best to respond to everyone, the exception being if you send me something that sounds like a form email or that is unrelated to the content I feature on Bourbon and Brown Sugar. Using my name goes a long way in getting my attention!


32 Responses to "About Bourbon and Brown Sugar"
  1. Nancy Powell says:

    Hi MB –
    I am really enjoying your blog, i enjoy your style of writing! I also love to cook, travel and entertain. I know your parents, through Dottie Gerrity ! (Torch Lake, Naples, Traverse City, MI)
    I look forward to your upcoming blogs, and I chuckled that I received “Jerusalem” for Christmas ! (Have you tried the chick peas in cumin with salad ingredients on the side?)

  2. Thanks Nancy! The chick pea salad sounds delicious, and is on my list of recipes to try.

  3. Karen Gaone says:

    Hi MB, just read your blog for the first time and I always said that you should pursue a writing career, I always looked forward to your letters form London and your annual Christmas letters. They are funny, informative and just you. Speaking of blogs, I just started watching Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, on Food Network. She started out by writing a blog and ended up with a cooking show! You never know. Also thanks for being such a great sister-in-law, couldn’t have asked for anyone better! Love you, Karen

  4. Thanks so much Karen! You’re the greatest! I’ve seen The Pioneer Woman on Food Network a few times when I’m working out at the gym… do you know she had three of the top 10 selling cookbooks in 2013? I should be watching her more often 🙂

  5. LOVELY to discover you and your blog, I have added you to my blog list now, as I don’t want to lose my way here again! Karen

    • You have made my day! I absolutely loved your blog as well… As I believe I mentioned, I had just discovered it the other day, and look forward to spending a nice long time reading through it – soon! Thank you so much.

  6. chefjulianna says:

    Hi MB! I just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. I am really enjoying your blog, it is awesome! You can go to http://foodieonboard.com for the details.

    • Oh my goodness… what a lovely surprise! Thanks so much Julianna! Such a cool idea- I’m lovin’ the Liebster too… and am going to have so much fun answering your questions!

  7. birgerbird says:

    I encourage you to keep up the writing and blogging . . . wonderful so far! I was using this theme (Ideation and Indent) when I began my blog and I still love it. Isn’t it wonderful to have a platform to “play” with your fantasy/unrealized (to date) livelihood as a writer??? Now if I could just learn photography! Looking forward to reading more . . .

  8. apsara says:

    Hi, I found your blog trough Fiesta Fridays when you posted your wonderful couscous salad, and have been following it since. Just realized I did not drop a note, so doing it now. Awesome collection of recipes. I admire that you do all this blogging in the midst of a busy career, etc. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much! I am glad you are enjoying the blog… I am having SUCH a great time writing it! I have to admit, I am very much looking forward to summer vacation, so I can focus on this endeavor a bit more!

  9. saucygander says:

    This is a great idea to practise writing through blogging! Look forward to more.

  10. Arl's World says:

    Hello there! Thanks for following my blog, I am now following you as well. What a nice about page and introduction. I look forward to seeing more of your blog. 🙂

  11. Lovely bio – looking forward to getting to know you a bit better as a result of Fiesta Friday!

  12. chefjulianna says:

    Hi MB! I just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for an award. Remember that it is up to you if you wish to participate. Have a great week. Here is the info: http://foodieonboard.com/2014/06/11/i-am-grateful/

  13. Michelle says:

    Hi MB,
    Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! 😀 You can check it out here: http://giraffescanbake.com/no-recipe-2/inspiring-blogger-award/. Participation is optional of course!
    Have a great day!
    Michelle x

  14. Ahila says:

    Hi MB, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award (http://wp.me/p3Nc97-BL). Have a great week!

  15. Honey Silvas says:

    I just had dinner but this site made me really hungry. Lovely, delicious photos!

  16. tantoverde says:

    Hey Mary, I am your “group mate” in Blogging 101 – I guess it is one of the best and truly inspiring introductions I’ve seen.

  17. Princess says:

    I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award, you can read all about it at http://lifefoodandme.com/2014/10/29/one-lovely-blog-award/#more-384

  18. lisa says:

    Hi Mary,
    I just joined the Southern Blog Society and was nosing around the foodie blogs when I found yours. As a transplanted child of Virginia (Arlington, Va. Beach & Richmond) and fellow food-lover and blogger, I wanted to reach out and say, “Hi!” Your blog is terrific and your recipes represent everything I like to eat (and drink). I wish you were my neighbor! Cheers!

    • mb says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I just wandered over to your blog and love it too!

  19. So pleased to have discovered your blog.

  20. Angela Johnson says:

    I love your blog and recipes. I was trying to subscribe via email but there is no option to enter my information. I refreshed my page but it only allows me to enter my information…there is no send button.

    • mb says:

      Angela – so sorry you’re having trouble! I tested the “follow by Email” section on the front page of the blog this morning, and it seemed to work for me – perhaps you could try using a different browser?

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