Johanna Elsemore

 I live in Washington, D.C. with my husband Courtney and our pair of pit bulls Lila and Jim.  I daylight as a Hill staffer, but spend much of my free time experimenting with new recipes and exploring the vibrant D.C. food scene. I share my adventures in these pursuits as well as other random and entertaining anecdotes on my blog Notes From a Messy Kitchen.

My cooking style is best described as balanced and diverse yet always chaotic. In my recipes you will find healthy dinners, bacon-laden desserts, lots of great vegetarian and vegan options and use of animal parts that might make you squirm. Some are day long endeavors and others involve just five minutes and a microwave. I like to experiment with different ethnic cuisines as well as twists on the old classics. Basically, I don’t like to limit my options or my audience. Requests and suggestions are always welcome, as are dinner guests!

Do It Yourself Guide: How to Make Your Own Brooch Bouquet

The very day that I met with our florist to discuss the beautiful sunflower bouquet I would carry down the aisle, I saw a picture of a vintage brooch bouquet and fell in love.  I convinced myself that it would be too much work, that I'd never be able to get enough brooches, and that I couldn't renege on the bouquet I'd just picked out.  Luckily, my mom convinced me otherwise and I got to carry this gorgeous bouquet down the aisle, complete with gifts and heirlooms from my closest family and friends. ...more