Tag Archives: Yum Yum Yum

Drinking Like a Lady: Dogfish Head’s Noble Rot

28 Feb

My sweet tooth is bigger than any bone in my body. I love a nice, fruity beer and even ciders, which always leads to slack from my male beer-drinking friends. So imagine my surprise when everyone reacted so enthusiastically to Dogfish Head‘s new Noble Rot.

The first line in the description online is “Hmmm. We wonder if anyone will buy a beer with the word ‘rot’ in the name?” I honestly almost didn’t buy it because of that reason. When I hear “rot” I instantly think of weird smells and colors that I shouldn’t be drinking. Luckily, my boyfriend trusts Sam and the rest of the crew at Dogfish whole-heartily, and picked up a bottle for dinner after its Jan. 2012 release, because I did not want to miss out on this beer.

Listed as a “saison-esque project,” Noble Rot is a unique combination of two different kinds of wine grapes combined with pilsner and wheat malts. Mashed together, you get a really unique, beyond interesting beer… no wait, wine… no wait…?

I kind of wish I had payed more attention to the description of Noble Rot before I went through the process of drinking it, because I would have appreciated it much more. The beer drinks more like a wine, with a sweet, champagne-esque bite that overpowers the hops and malt. Were I to have sipped this drink a bit more slowly, I don’t think I would have been so overpowered by the taste, which was so delicious. Through all these new flavors, I can’t help but appreciate that distinct Dogfish taste that you get at the end of a sip. There’s a familiarity amid this strange, wacky brew, a taste that inspires me to buy Dogfish beer in the first place.

If you are just starting out in the craft beer world, it takes some refining. I wouldn’t expect someone who’s lived on Natty Light and Franzia to dive head first into a Double IPA anytime soon, but Noble Rot might be a good start. There’s a balance of flavors that doesn’t make it overly-hoppy or bitter, which can be kind of abrasive when adjusting to the craft beer scene.

One of the great things about craft beers is that each brewery has their own little signature, a taste or flavor that always ends up hitting home and making you say, “Hey, I know where this is from!” I’ve got to love Dogfish’s absolutely off-the-wall approach to beer, it’s what keeps me coming back.

Are you a fan of craft beer? Follow me on UnTappd and share your favorites!

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30 Rock Funky Juice

23 Feb

Ice, Sprite and white wine… You’ve got yourself a Liz Lemon night.
Happy Thursday night!

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The Caribou Cafe: France in Philadelphia

22 Feb

This weekend Alex and I spent a lovely two nights in Philadelphia. Some may see that as bonkers, since you can literally see the Philly skyline from Alex’s backyard. The thing is, Philadelphia is packed with some of -in my opinion- the most amazing bars and restaurants in the country, a lot of places we have always wanted to go to but never indulged in. So this weekend we threw our seemingly endless saving spree out the window and tried a few of our favorite restaurants, and bars in full, gluttonous, heavenly style.

By our hotel on Walnut Street there was this little cafe that I had never seen before but grabbed my attention right away called the Caribou Cafe. It had adorable outdoor seating, fenced off with a wall of plants. The windows were painted with gold lettering of French foods with lace curtains between each of the light brown wood window sills, and I could see the warm orange paint and people sipping coffees inside.

I was instantly taken to my first morning in Paris during my time studying abroad in London. We had no idea where we were or what we were doing, but we were starving. We got off the metro and turned into the first cafe we could find, a quintessentially French little eatery. There couldn’t have been a more perfect place to have enjoyed my first French meal. Tucked along the Seine, with the Eifel Tower placed perfectly in the background, we enjoyed wine and Croque Monsieurs. It will always serve as my perfectly ideal image of Paris.

The Caribou Cafe instantly took me back to that morning and fed my French obsession. I knew I would love it before I even walked in the door. On our last morning in Philly Alex and I walked over for brunch. Walking through their velvet yellow curtains into the cafe I fell in love all over again. This place is beautiful. The bright orange walls compliment rows of dark tables and chairs and their bar, one of the most gorgeous bars in Philadelphia. On top of the counter sits a champagne bucket with three of their finest bottles sitting on ice and two massive silver lamps, shaped like elegant women, with a wall of more champagne, obscure liquors and beers lining the counters behind. I couldn’t stop gushing the entire time.

The menu is exquisitely French, of course. Escargots, quiche du jour, croque madame and monsieur, crepes, moules frites… oh gosh I shouldn’t keep going. Alex chose eggs benedict on a bed of spinach that he went nuts for, but cooked spinach and I do not get along so I avoided a taste of that. I chose their French Philly cheesesteak, sliced ribeye on brioche, with brie cheese, sauteed mushrooms, honey dijon mustard and a pile of frites. Unbelievable. The ribeye was cooked perfectly, the bread was fresh and toasted and the brie. Oh my gosh, the brie. This was without a doubt one of the best meals I have had this year, and I’m already dying to go back and try more.

I spent so much time planning this weekend and the thing I fell into was one of my favorite and most memorable stops. If you’re a francophile stop by the Caribou Cafe. You will be stunned. Also, they have a free beer deal on FourSquare, so stop by and enjoy a free Kronenburg!

Happy International Pancake Day!!!

21 Feb

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Enjoying it in (super-full) style.

Super Easy, Super Quick Craft: My Cheap But Fantastic Valentine’s Gift

11 Feb

Alex and I have decided not to do anything too crazy on Valentine’s Day. We are going away next weekend and we really wanted to save money, so we’re not going overboard on a holiday on the worst day of the week… a Tuesday.

My problem? I love giving gifts. It’s why I love holidays. Oh gosh it’s my favorite thing. So I decided to go out and make a cheap and easy gift for him. My boss told me about this online company called Chocomize, which allows you to build your own chocolate bar with really crazy ingredients like gold flakes and rose pedals and all sorts of crazy spices. Alex loved the site, but he wanted to use his favorite candies, like Nerds, Sour Patch Kids and SweeTarts. The kid loves candy.

So this morning I went out to the craft store and got meltable milk chocolate, then headed over to Five Below to pick out his favorite candies. The chocolate cost about $2 and each box of candy cost around $.89, so it came to about $7 for a gift.

If you’re a candy maker, you might already have a mold to make a chocolate bar, or if you wanted to go out and buy one go ahead, but I decided to save three bucks and use the lid to a small shoe box that I had (from those amazing Target flats I blogged about a week ago). I took the lid and wrapped it in wax paper, then taped the sides down on the underside and voila! A free candy mold!

Next step is melting the chocolate and getting all of your candies ready. Pour the bag of chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for intervals of 30 seconds, stirring every time. This takes a lot faster than you would think. For me it took around 2 minutes to get everything completely microwaved, and in that time I had opened all of the candy and gotten it ready. This is actually more important than you’d think: You don’t want the chocolate to harden before you can get the candy in.

Pour the melted chocolate into your mold. To make sure it was all even in the mold, and to get the bubbles out of the chocolate I tapped it against the counter a couple of times. You’ll see the bubbles rise to the surface and then pop! Then comes the fun part: the candy! Just go nuts. How am I supposed to explain how to decorate, it’s all up to you! This bar of chocolate is pretty huge: it used up one full box of Nerds, a bag of Pop Rocks, Spree, Sour Patch Kids and SweeTarts. AKA Alex’s fantasy candy bar.

Pop the candy bar in the fridge for 10 minutes or so, unmold and you’re done! You can put anything into this so that it matches whoever you want to give it to. They also have a ton of other melting chocolates. I almost went with a dark chocolate mint, since Alex loves anything mint chocolate chip, but I figured it wouldn’t go with all of the candies, so I stuck with milk chocolate, but the world is yours! After refrigerating this project took me about 15 minutes. Seriously. And it only cost me $7! It took longer for me to write this post than it did for me to make this gift, and I’m completely thrilled with it. I can’t wait to give it to him, it’s absolutely perfect.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My Favorite Things of the Season

27 Oct

Ahhhhhhhhhh…

Fall is here!!

I cannot hype up the fall season enough. First of all, just look outside (unless it’s the night time, then just Google “autumn afternoon” or something). It is so unbelievably beautiful. I have always wanted to get married the second to last weekend in October, just when it’s the perfect temperature and the leaves have changed to their maximum color potential… I haven’t thought this out at all.

With autumn comes with a whole world of new food opportunities. There really isn’t any other time with so many seasonal flavors that tie in so perfectly with the way the world is reacting outside. Here are just a few of my favorite fall treats!

Punkin Ale

I have been waiting to try Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale for two years. After several days of hunting, Alex and I loaded up on two cases of the stuff.
If you are 21 and have the opportunity, run as fast as you physically can to the nearest liquor store and get Punkin Ale. It is so perfectly delicious and tastes so wonderfully seasonal I couldn’t even believe it. It has this deep pumpkin color and it smells absolutely unbelievable, like cinnamon and pumpkin pie and falling leaves and everything you would picture on a Thanksgiving Hallmark card.

The beer has a sweetness to it, but nothing so unappealing that it loses its beer taste. I’m no connoisseur, but I could taste all of the ingredients that they listed on the front of the bottle individually at some point.

I’m a really slow drinker when it comes to specialty beers, and that usually hurts the finale for me. For all those recent college grads that spent the last four years drinking warm cups of Natty Ice, you ill be just as shocked as I am when you drink this beer warm. I think it actually enhances the flavor when it’s a little warm.

This weekend, settle down at home, cook a really nice, warm, seasonal meal, curl up with a blanket and a Punkin Ale and watch a Halloween movie. I’m telling you, you will not be disappointed.

Apple Cider

As a fan of celebrating all seasons in excess, I like doing anything and everything to get others into the spirit as well.  A couple of weeks ago I made my wonderful boyfriend, Alex, buy me apple cider, which we warmed up on the stove while making apple pie… overboard? I think not. Besides, it made the whole house smell amazing.

When the season ends I spend a lot of time searching the juice aisles for apple cider, and am usually let down. That’s why I am stocking up on apple cider K-cups from Green Mountain Coffee for the rest of the year. I’ve never had them, but Green Mountain makes some blergtastic coffee and I’m assuming these are just as good as the others. Plus I can use them to make this awesome mixed drink my room mates and I made for Halloween last year: Apple cider, Spiced Rum and Sparkling Water… Happy fall, happy fall indeed.

Oktober-foods

Yeah, sure, Oktoberfest is actually in September. And yeah, sure, I live in New Jersey, which is nowhere near Germany which is where Oktoberfest is actually held. That doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate it.

Luckily for me there are a million places around the area that have Oktoberfest menus and specials that appeal to the Kraut in my soul. Iron Hill Brewery, for example, offers Oktoberfest eggrolls, stuffed with bratwurst, sauerkraut and cheese and served with mustards. So. Good.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

With my new job requiring me to wake up a horribly cruel 8 a.m. I have become a coffee person. I like a little bit of sweet, and it usually needs some sort of flavor in the bean. My go-to is French Vanilla, but seeing as it is the fall, I have switched my sites toward Pumpkin Spice coffee.

I went for a latte at first, but in the morning when any amount of work or emotions is too difficult to face, I can’t take super sweet. Plus they are an insane amount of calories and I’m trying to avoid diabetes with my morning drink.

My new standard in the morning is Wawa’s pumpkin spice blend, mainly because I’m from South Jersey and Wawa’s consume my entire being. Try it with hazelnut creamer to add a little extra flavor.

Halloween Candy

Come on, this is a give-in. Stores are stocked full of ridiculous amounts of candy and it taunts me all day long.

Alex and I decided to grab ourselves some sweets the other day. Alex is a general sweet and sour guy: SweetTarts, Nerds, Swedish Fish, you know how it is. I’ve always been a chocolate fan, but I decided to mix it up with something seasonal, which is why I chose Caramel Apple Pops from Tootsie Rolls.

Now for someone like me who just got my first filling ever a few weeks ago a green apple lollipop covered in caramel might have been a bad choice, but they are really, really good. They weren’t what I expected, but they are definitely a good way to celebrate Halloween.

Try This!

12 Sep

Oh, Whole Foods.

As my days as a cashier wind down I am taking this opportunity to gobble up everything delicious in the store with my discount. In one week I will be another broke schmuck that can’t afford a bottle of water in that store (no, seriously, I accidentally payed $2.50 for a bottle of water the other day), so I might as well use the 20 percent off I have now to it’s fullest advantage.

That being said I have had my eye on this one drink that my boyfriend, Alex, bought the other day, the Vanilla Chai Tea by Bolthouse Farms.
Holy.

Moly.

I’m not even going to try and use an adverb (if it isn’t an adverb I’m sorry. Alex and I had about a ten minute discussion trying to figure out what an adverb was. Damn public education) to describe how good this stuff is because there is none. It is smooth and creamy with just the right amount of cinnamon and vanilla and it probably tastes like John Stamos looks when its warmed up… ohhhh I gotta try warming it up… Have Mercy!

On top of that it is pretty good for you and one serving is actually a really decent amount to drink (the bottle pictured is four servings, not one). On my break at work today I couldn’t even get through one serving before I was full.

Oh my gosh just talking about this stuff makes me want to drink more of it. I’m glad I still have like half of the bottle left. Bolthouse Farms also makes some pretty killer smoothies. I’m a strawberry-banana fanatic myself. And that giant bottle of really good quality tea was actually only four dollars. It is worth it, and if you had more self-control than I do it would last a long time.