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Endless Beers: Happy IPA Day!

Posted by on August 7 2014 in Drinks, Holiday, Lists

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You may not know it, but it’s National IPA Day! Donut day, coffee day, ice cream day…why not have a day for those of us who take pride in the name “hophead”? Well today’s that day. Many consider the IPA (India Pale Ale) to be the brew that really made a name for craft beer. The IPA is a bold, typically strong in alcohol content, and bitter (in a good way) brew that includes strong notes of citrus. Regardless, today is a day to try an IPA for the first time, try out a crazy new IPA flavor, or crack open your favorite IPA. In the spirit of this wonderful holiday, we worked with some of the best breweries in the nation to bring your our “National IPA Day Roundup.”

Sierra Nevada 2014 Hop Harvest: 6.5 % ABV

harvest-equinoxbottle-pint3Sierra Nevada brings out this annual 5-bottle series that features a single hop, wet hop, fresh hop, and wild hop brews. I had the Equinox Single Hop IPA. Single hop meaning they used only one kind of hop to highlight the aromas and the bitterness. The brew is an easy drink that will put you in the mood for fall. The IPA has typical hop flavors you would expect and then the taste of fresh peppers and spices from the garden comes through. continue reading…


Cocktail O’Clock: Head Above Watermelon

Posted by on August 6 2014 in Drinks, Recipe

Head Above Watermelon 1_LR

My liquid obsession lately has been 21st Amendment Brewery’s Hell or High Watermelon Wheat beer. While some people might scoff at the idea of adding fruit to your beer, it’s actually only a little bit sweet — but has just enough watermelon flavor that it’s about the most refreshing summer beer I’ve ever had. It’s perfect for a picnic or barbecue…we even served it at my recent summer wedding.

So I was delighted to find this recipe, which turns the idea of watermelon wheat beer on its head a bit, crafting a watermelon-tequila cocktail that’s finished with a little hefeweizen. Genius! Hailing from THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen in Manhattan, it even keeps the watermelon pun game going too.

Head Above Watermelon

2 oz Fresh Pressed Watermelon Juice
1.25 oz Casamigos Blanco tequila
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Alagash Hefeweizen

Shake all ingredients together except the Hefeweizen, pour into chilled brandy snifter, add Hefeweizen and garnish with a mint leaf.


Creamy Cashew Quinoa Cole Slaw

Posted by on August 5 2014 in Recipe, Veggie

Thai Cashew Cole Slaw

This is a very ME recipe. Asian-inspired flavors? Check. Quinoa? Check. Some sort of shredded cabbage/slaw component? Check. Cashews? CHECK, of course! Oh, and avocado, but at this point that should go without saying.

There is nothing not to love about this salad. Slash slaw. Slash pilaf. Okay, I’m not really sure what exactly to call it. It’s easy to throw together on a busy night. It’s packed with nutritious vegetables, protein, and fiber. It can be your full meal or a side. If you want some meat/additional protein, you could easily top with shrimp or chicken. Make it your own!

Creamy Cashew Quinoa Cole Slaw
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Endless Beers: Stone Coffee Milk Stout

Posted by on August 4 2014 in Drinks

image(35)ABV: 4.2%

Born a  limited release, the Stone Coffee Milk Stout survived longer than many other suds offered at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.  Brewery Trainer Brian Gallagher brewed the ten-barrel batch with Brewing Manager Kris Ketcham. The brew is made with milk sugar and whole coffee beans at a low alcohol content. While session beers are increasingly popular, session stouts are rare to find. The Stone “Coffee Laced” Milk Stout is released nationally on August 4. Here’s the taste!

Stone Coffee Milk Stout Profile:

Appearance: Black and dark – opaque

Aroma: Coffee hits the nose first, followed by flavors of chocolate and even a little bit of licorice

Taste: First taste is roasted coffee bitterness followed by semi-sweet chocolate. Then, sweet and creamy malty flavors come through.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light going down. However, the brew finishes dry and crisp.

Overall: This is a pleasant surprise for a session brew. The brew has the light texture of a session brew, but the full flavors of a stout. The creamy and sweet notes of a milk stout come through from beginning to end of the drink. The bitterness of coffee beans begin the sip and chocolate follows. The beer is a good drink after dinner, or even during the day.

Suggested Pairings:

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A Very Dogfish Vacay: The Brew Pub

Posted by on July 30 2014 in Drinks, Food Travel

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Next stop in Delaware: the Brew Pub. The Brew Pub is located in Rehoboth Beach, DE. While the pub serves some tasty foods, let’s be honest—it’s all about the beer. The Brew Pub is where Sam Caglione started the brewery. While the main “flagship” brews are made at the brewery in Milton, every beer starts as an experimental in the Brew Pub. This means that here you are likely trying a beer that you may never be able to have again. You are helping decide the fate of the precious suds we’ve all learned to love and enjoy.

When we visited, there were several rarities for us to try. The best bet is going with a flight and picking either the most outrageous brews available, or those that you’ve never had before.  From there, you can decide which brews you’d like to have again and again before you leave the pub. While it is home of many rarities, it also has just about everyone of their seasonal and flagships. But you can get those just about anywhere. Go for the ones that you may never be able to get again. The brew pub also has signature beer cocktails that are worth a try. continue reading…


The Juice is Loose… Cold-Pressed Juice, That is

Posted by on July 28 2014 in Trends, Veggie

Daily Greens Cold-Pressed Juice

We’ve all seen the hype around juicing, juice cleanses, juice fasts, etc. I feel like there’s an abundance of high-end cold-pressed juices at Whole Foods and whatnot… $7+ for a juice? Is it worth it? What makes some juices better than others? Is this really better for me than just eating some fruits and vegetables? What IS cold-pressed? So many questions, so few answers.

Serendipitously, Austin-based Daily Greens reached out to me at the beginning of the summer and offered me a sample box of their juices and I couldn’t say no. It was time to see what all the fuss was about. It was time to taste the rainbow.

So, what makes a cold-pressed juice superior to its classic counterparts? I’ll take it straight from the mouth of the Daily Greens website:

High Pressure Processing (“HPP”), otherwise known as pascalization, uses high pressure instead of heat to inhibit microflora growth in fresh food and therefore naturally extend its shelf life. Unlike pasteurization, pascalization is an external process; the raw product itself is never touched. Our pressurizing method uses evenly distributed pressure of cool water to destroy any harmful bacteria, such as Listeria, E. coli, Salmonella, lactic acid bacteria, yeast and mold, thereby making it safe for public consumption.

Because of the chilled temperature at which the juice is treated, alongside the minimal impact that pressure has on the structure of the components responsible for nutrition and flavor, the juice remains raw and the nutrients and taste remain the same.

My takeaway from all this: more nutrients! Closer to the structure of the original produce! Tons of greens and fruit! I can get behind that.

I think some people are weirded out by the idea of juicing vegetables. While I love most vegetables, there are certain things I can’t get behind. For example… I really, really, do not like celery. Does juiced celery taste any better? I mean, not by itself, no. But when combined with other, pleasurable flavors, it becomes a lot more palatable. As far as kale, spinach, and most other greens… those have a pretty mild flavor.

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Case in point about the taste of these cold-pressed wonders: my very favorite flavor of Daily Greens was their “Renew,” made with mint, spinach, cucumber, watermelon, dandelion (!), pineapple, celery, and lime. Yes, celery was in this one but it was still delicious and very refreshing! Of course if you put watermelon and pineapple in anything, I’m probably going to be a fan. (Other recommended flavors from yours truly? The “Elevate” and “Rejuvenate.”) Anyway, all of these green juices really did make me feel energized, fresh, and light – versus a glass of your average fruit juice, which is tasty but sugary and not at all filling. (I will always have a soft spot in my heart for POG but I know it’s really not great for me… sigh.)

Let’s get one thing straight, though: I won’t ever be one of those people who regularly goes on juice fasts. I think health juices are a great way to supplement your diet and get some extra nutrients in, and a couple times I had a Daily Greens for lunch when I was having a hectic day at work. But I think they’re best enjoyed as part of a rounded, healthy nutritional routine. And Daily Greens seems to agree – they do offer a juice cleanse program but it’s only for 3-4 days AND, most importantly, they also encourage eating as many raw fruits & vegetables during the detox so you still feel full. So I think I could manage that! They also make sure to say “We do not believe in “crash” juice cleanses in which only juice is consumed for days on end, as these types of diets can result in many negative side effects” – good for you, Daily Greens friends.

After my big taste test, I do think there IS a big benefit to cold-pressed juice. More nutrients, tons of flavor, super fresh… it might cost a bit more but I think the perks are worth it. I’m definitely going to try to add more green juices into my diet. Even some celery! When it’s mixed with watermelon, at least.


A Very Dogfish Vacay: The Inn

Posted by on July 25 2014 in Drinks, Food Travel

DFInn1Many think of Delaware for its fun, party-hopping beach towns. I think of beer. We went down for a long weekend to enjoy the beaches and of course – Dogfish Head Brewery. As I looked into the trip, I noticed that the Dogfish Inn just opened and we decided to try it out for a night. Dogfish Head is slowly taking over the entire territory of Delaware Beaches. The Inn is located in Lewes, DE, which is conveniently between the brew pub and the brewery. Originally, Dogfish started a “360 Experience” where customers could stay at a specific hotel and were given preferential treatment at both the brew pub and the brewery. Then, one day Sam Caglione (Founder of Dogfish Head Brewery) noticed an Inn up for sale and took advantage of the opportunity. Now, the experience is truly 360 from beginning to end.

We didn’t know what to expect except for what the reviews said. I read early on that the Inn does not supply or sell beer. I was disappointed to begin with, since I am staying at an Inn created by the mind behind Dogfish Head Brewery. One of the first questions I asked is why they don’t sell or provide beer. The innkeeper, Andrew (who has a very admirable and thick beard) explained that Sam did not want to open up further competition in the town of Lewes. Since Sam is a resident of Lewes, he wanted to promote business at the local eateries and bars. Every night, the inn posts which local bars and restaurants have what Dogfish brews on tap. We asked the staff about several of the restaurants, and they were very knowledgeable about the best food and best prices. They will also call ahead if you want to eat at the Brew Pub, or if you want to take a tour. The Inn will make the arrangements for you. continue reading…


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