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!

How Come I'm the Only One Who Kept My Maiden Name?

My name is Christie O’Brien Tate. It's the name I’ve had all my life.  It will always be my name, even though I'm married with two children, and I'm the only one in my household with the last name Tate.  For as long as I can remember, I planned to keep my maiden name.  Long before I read the work of Betty Friedan or Catharine MacKinnon, I knew I wanted my name to stay with me. Sometimes when people ask me why I kept my maiden name, I joke that I'm horrible with paperwork, so there's no way I was going to schlep down to the DMV to update my driver’s license. ...more
I too decided not to take my husband's name... which happens to be Tate!  That means you and I ...more

Meal Plan Monday, October 16

*cough* *sniff* The fake husband brought home germs from his new job and I am so impressed. Hmph! Luckily I get off easy on the meal planning front this week. Monday: Um... we didn't take anything out of the freezer so I'm guessing it's going to be whatever I can toss together from the fridge and cupboard. Maybe quinoa and sauteed spinach? Or I think I could toss together a sweet potato and black bean soup pretty easily, which might be better since soup is good when you are fighting a cold. ...more
I was in Richmond doing campaign work all weekend, so I had no time to grocery shop or make ...more