Monthly Archives: December 2013

Farewell 2013

2013 was a wonderful, painful, beautiful, heartbreaking and joyous year. I warn you now – this is a picture and link heavy post. It was a busy, busy year.
am Baby Avery at our first Ladies at Ladyface of 2013.
am1 I made my first grown-up purchase – a new Prius C to help me drive those 100 miles per day I averaged with my post-assistant-brewer job. am2 A media access preview night at Chloe’s – Golden Road’s secret pub space. am3 My pops happened to be in town and was able to join me. AM4 Abandoned places. I love them so. AM5 John, Patty and Joe from The Chive came to visit! AM6 For my birthday, the parental unit flew out and surprised me with a beautiful suite on the coast. AM7 Abandoned places. I seriously am obsessed. AM8 So tragically beautiful. AM9 Irish Car Bomb bread pudding. I insist on taking a little credit for the idea of this… I think Phil and Thomas from Custom Melt and Custom Pie might allow that. AM10 Death by chocolate with Jenny. AM11 Samuel Adams Brewery for training. I passed. AM12 I had Utopias. Epic. AM13 Met Ben Franklin. He told me to “Chive On”. AM14 Had my first raw oyster. I didn’t hurl. I actually enjoyed it! AM15 Consumed the most kickass donut that exists in the entire universe. AM16 Traveled to Sierra Nevada Brewing for more training. AM17 I say “training” very loosely. We mostly just drank their amazing beer and ate wonderful food. AM18 We were spoiled by some specialty cellar brews. AM19 I brewed at Miller in Irwindale. I drank Coors Golden got a can of Coors Golden and let my coworkers finish it. am20 This is a big frickin’ brewery. HUGE. am21 Took inappropriate pictures of brewers in short shorts. I’m not sure if the majority found it wonderful/hilarious or frightening/NSFW… am22 Was given a personal tour of The Bruery in Orange by Tyler King himself! AM25 Another personalized tour of Golden Road Brewing for a client I was schmoozing. AM26 Ladies at Ladyface: TWO YEARS! AM27 This little one kept growing! AM28 Banjo and Fiddle Fest with Enegren’s Brew Chief Joe Nascenzi. AM29 Family brew day in Colorado! AM30 I passed the Cicerone test!!!! I had to decide which cellar beer to break open to celebrate with. AM31 Honestly, a good two and a half years of my life studying everything beer for that moment. AM32 My first recipe/picture accepted to FoodGawker! AM33 Did I mention I passed the Cicerone test? I’m still kinda psyched about that… AM34 Hosted a Samuel Adams beer dinner at Roy’s in Woodland Hills. AM35 Hosted a Firestone pairing dinner at Salt in Calabasas. AM36 Got my Chivette shirt and a mustache hat. AM37 The parental unit came to visit again!AM38Went to Boston to see Commander Matt’s family and enjoyed tons of seafood and kayaking. AM39 Got the worst burn I’ve had in my entire life. I still have a tan line to THIS DAY, and it doesn’t look like it’s planning on fading anytime soon… AM40 Stopped by The Chive before they moved out of Venice. I miss them! AM41 Celebrated Avery’s first birthday! AM42 Started going to archery every Saturday. AM43 Angel City Brewery tour for works! AM44 Said farewell to J.J. – a beloved Lady at Ladyface who moved to Oregon. AM45 Watched this movie. Three times. It’s that awfully amazing. AM46 My lovely Janelle cooked me this delicious dinner and became my strongest shoulder. AM47 A great friend invited me down to his neck of the woods for good beers and yet another brewery visit.
AM48 Hosted a Golden Road pairing dinner at Tuning Fork in Studio City. AM49 I was able to dress casual for work for the first time in seven months since I was “repping the brewery”. AM50 Went to the Citrus Classic Hot Air Balloon Festival. AM51 And hosted the beer pairing dinner there. AM52 Visited Figueroa Mountain’s new taproom in Santa Barbara. AM53 Traveled to Colorado for a weekend and decided it was time to get back to where I belong. AM54 Said farewell to my brew boys who kept watch over me in college. Congratulations to Grayson – almost officially old and engaged!!! AM55 Met and said farewell to Wolf Creek Brewery’s replacement for me – Joseph Isaac, assistant brewer extraordinaire who owes me a beanie and beers since the Colorado Avalanche destroyed the LA Kings… Before they destroyed us back… AM56 Another dinner with two of the people I adore the most on this earth. AM57 Had a catch-up/farewell luncheon with Yousef Abu-Taleb – my favorite Beast from back in the day. AM58 A Vertical Epic tasting with my Ladies of Ladyface. Heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time. AM60 Drove my little car across California, Arizona and Utah to cross into Colorado! AM61 The view from my current home. AM62 Testing the local breweries – Black Bottle Brewing. AM63 Lunch and tea with my oldest best friend, Michelley. AM64 Traveled to Germany and had a beer in the town center after 30 hours of being awake. AM65 Went to Andechs Monastery and had the best beer of the entire Germany trip. AM66 Had Weiswurst and Weissbier for breakfast at the Glockenspiel. AM67 Went to Salzburg, Austria on a day trip. AM68 Found an amazing wine bar in München and became friends with the owner. AM69 Went to Amsterdam and took the Canal tour. AM70 Visited Anne Frank’s house. Speechless. AM71 Visited Heineken. Delicious. AM72 Went to Scotland and visited Cask and Barrel. AM73 Went to Loch Ness. AM74 Visited the ruins of Dunollie. AM75 Went to BrewDog in Edinburgh! AM78 Flew back home and cuddled with my Barleywhine. AM79 Took a few spins around town on the motorcycle. AM80 Went to City Star Brewing in Berthoud. AM81 Found a great girls’ night spot at Next Door in Loveland. AM82 Went to GABF. AM83 Got together with California friends at GABF. AM84 Met Lauren from Me and the Mountains at GABF! AM85 So many wonderful Californians at GABF. I miss them. AM86 Pink Boots Society meeting. AM87 Brewed on the first official snow day in Colorado. AM88 Went to a Colorado Avalanche game and wore a mustache. AM90 Went to Left Hand for a flight. AM91 Halloween, pumpkins and good beer. AM92 Brewed at Verboten with the Verboten Sisterhood. Pink Saison – turned out delicious! AM93 Broke out my old brew boots for the occasion. AM94 Got hired at Loveland Aleworks! AM95 Found and drank KCCO Black Lager! AM96 Went for a weekend getaway to Fraser. AM98 Made some awesome new recipes – this one featuring Gingerbread Ale by Bison Brewing. AM99 Almost lost my Barleywhine to HGE. He lived and thrived. We’re all so very thankful. AM100 Re-met Curtis and met Liz Chism of Council Brewing when they stopped by for a flight!
christmas Wore a battery-operated, homemade ugly Christmas sweater to serve beer to all those thirsty folk on Christmas Eve.

It’s been a year full of amazing memories, wonderful friend and people and moments I’ll never forget. I don’t regret a single thing, and I am so very blessed. Thank you, 2013, for a beautiful year!

What are your favorite memories from 2013?

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!
christmas5 I hope your day is filled with grace, loved ones and celebration!
christmas A good brew wouldn’t hurt, either.
christmas1 Or wine. I don’t judge.
christmas2 Merry Christmas and God bless!
christmas4 (Memories of Christmas past)

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Christmas Foods Roundup

It’s Christmas Eve Eve! I think it’s about time to get those recipes in order. Here are some of our family traditions and my recommendations for some epic meals for the day!
eggs Savory Christmas Bread Pudding – aka Eggs Portugal. We’ve had this every year as far back as I can remember, and I can’t imagine a Christmas without it! Serve it with fresh apple cider and coffee, and you’re good to go!
am5 Eggnog Spiked Christmas Kettle Corn – in between second, third and fourth helpings of the bread pudding, this is an easy and delicious go-to snack to keep up the blood sugar!
kager Molasses Spiked Sirups Kager – these are a slightly healthier version of a family recipe, and can be made vegan-friendly!
PorterCookies Vanilla Porter Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies – wonderfully rich chocolate cookies with a burst of sweetness from the maraschino cherries and a boozy frosting to top it off.
AM8 Wilted Kale and Quinoa Salad with Maple-Glazed Pecans – if you need a break from the sugar, this is a wonderful appetizer/side dish/meal to help you feel just a tad better before sitting down for the Christmas ham (or fifth helping of Savory Christmas Bread Pudding in my case).
caffe Caramel Pecan Caffetini – finish the long day with a decadent chocolate-coffee martini, drizzled with salted caramel sauce. Make sure you’ve changed back into fuzzy pajama pants for this if you got dressed for some strange reason during the day.

Happy cooking!

Do you have any traditional foods or family recipes you make every year for Christmas?

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Trimming the Tree

I think the Christmas Kettle Corn did the trick! I really am starting to feel the Christmas spirit!
am8 I finished that entire batch all by myself over the course of an hour after I made it. It’s really addictive – be forewarned.
am I finally finished ALL of my Christmas shopping! I celebrated with a taster flight from the newest brewery in Loveland: Crow Hop.
am2 Exposed brick, warm lighting and heaters blasting. We then traipsed across the parking lot to Henry’s Pub for mass quantities of mango Sriracha wings, fish ‘n chips and even more brews.
henry Little Red Cap ala Grimm Brothers Brewhouse!
firestone I also celebrated by buying myself some Christmas presents… Debating whether to drink this or age it for a year… Thoughts?
eclipse Another gift to myself. I’m very generous. This one will be aging while we enjoy the other three that I cellared over a year ago!
am11 Today was “decorate the tree” day! We normally don’t wait so long, but with all of our busy schedules, it was the first chance we had.
am10 Silk Seasonal Nog and coffee to start off on the right foot!
am5 We have quite a collection of ornaments that we’ve accumulated throughout the years. This is one I got for my parental unit two years ago when I was in Breckenridge with the artist.
am9 My first Christmas ornament! Man, I’m old.
am12 “Mom, look! This was eleven years ago!” No…. make that 21 years ago. Man, I’m old.
am14 I had a lot of teachers who encouraged homemade ornaments. I give you – gingerbread house by Becki Kregoski, age 6.
am16 The year we learned about fossils and the imprints they leave in rocks.
am17 Indian Princesses corn husk doll from when I lived in Boulder during elementary school.
am15 My teacher made this one (as what I assume was an apology for all of the ugly crap with which her students were adorning their parentals’ trees) in 1996.
am18 “Squeeze my cheeks and I’ll give you a kiss” Santa. My mumsie and I used to make these when we lived in Illinois. You’d squeeze the sides, Santa’s mouth would open and a Hershey’s Kiss would be sitting inside!
am13 This was gifted to me right after high school when my dreams of becoming an actor were in full blossom.
am7 Those dreams gave way to a different dream/career after college.
am6 A very, very different career.
am8 My parental unit knows me so well!

Now I’m off to bake Busia’s Yuletide Cookies – aka Thumbprint cookies, before a loooooong day at the brewery. And, it’s snowing outside! Tis the season!

Do you have any holiday traditions that you just can’t skip?

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Eggnog Spiked Christmas Kettle Corn

Anyone else feeling way behind in the holiday season? Our tree still doesn’t have ornaments on it, and for us, that is a HUGE deal. Normally the tree is up and decorated the day after Thanksgiving and I’d be ready for the Christmas music to finally cease at this point. Instead I’m trying to catch up to the whirlwind of the season and feel a little Christmas spirit before the year is over!
am Barrel-aged Velvet Merkin – this is a good start. Rich oatmeal stout with a potent aroma and flavor of bourbon in front of the fire? Sounds like Christmas-time to me!
am1 I also thought a little seasonal snack might help. I was never a big fan of eggnog as a kid, but ever since I found this Silk Seasonal Nog, I can’t get enough!
am2 Pop some corn…
am3 Make some nog-glaze…
am4 Prettify the glaze….
am5 Drizzle and enjoy! Sweet, salty, crunchy and vegan-friendly!
am6

Eggnog Spiked Christmas Kettle Corn

Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Occasion Christmas

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons Silk Seasonal Nog (or eggnog of your choice)
  • 4-8 drops red and green food coloring
  • 6 tablespoons unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • pinch sea salt

Optional

  • pinch silver and gold sprinkles

Directions

For the popcorn
Step 1
Melt the coconut oil in a large pot on the stove over medium-high heat.
Step 2
Pour in the popcorn kernels and place the lid on top, shaking constantly to coat kernels with oil and prevent burning.
Step 3
Once the popcorn is finished popping, spread evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Step 4
In two separate small bowls combine 3 tablespoons with two teaspoons of Silk eggnog (or eggnog of your choice) and stir until it becomes a thin paste.
Step 5
Add 4-8 drops of red food coloring to one bowl, and 4-8 drops of green food coloring to the other until you reach the desired colors.
Step 6
With a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the popcorn until coated to your liking and sprinkle the pinch of salt across the top.
Step 7
Add the silver and gold sprinkles here if you'd like, pour into a bowl and devour.

am7 Happy holidays!

Are you having trouble getting into the spirit of the season? I blame the late Thanksgiving!

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They Called It Puppy Love

My goodness, the week JUST started and it’s already been insane and overwhelming!
am I worked at the brewery on Saturday and participated in some terrible awesome brewery puns. “Wouldn’t IBU like to know?” I’m so very hilarious. You’re welcome.
am3 Myself and some of our customers played “dodge the impaling snowflake” aka the putty that held up our Christmas ornaments and decor didn’t work out that well. Nothing like a little excitement/fear of dismemberment to spice up the day!
am2 On Sunday after church, I met up with my bro for pho and brews! We swung by Grimm Brothers and got a taste of cask – Santiam dry-hopped Farmer’s Daughter. I love this beer on its own, but the Santiam hops really enhanced it with a gently sweet floral flavor. And I love cask ale. Cask cask cask. Cask.
am4 Curtis and Liz Chism stopped by the brewery! I met Curtis virtually through Bites ‘n Brews a few years back and then randomly ran into him at Hess Brewing and met him in person almost two years ago. He and his wife Liz are starting up Council Brewing in San Diego in the next year. Check out their Kickstarter here and get in on the ground level! They were in Colorado enjoying what will likely be their last vacation ever. I kid, I kid. Kinda… The perks of owning a brewery!
bar Have I inundated you with enough pictures of this guy? My parental unit’s pup, Barleywhine, wasn’t feeling so good on Sunday. We’ve had health issues with all of our previous pets that (for the most part) weren’t too terrible, so we let him rest for a day to see if the issue would resolve itself. It didn’t. We took him into the vet on Monday morning and found out that he was suffering from HGE – hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. I’ll spare you the gory details, but this is a really bad disease that can result very quickly in death. The vet told us that basically his blood was turning to sludge. We left him in the vet’s care where he was put on an IV and covered with a heated blanket to raise his temperature.
am5 Since our vet isn’t open 24 hours, we had to pick him up late Monday night and play puppy-ambulance to take him across town to another vet that would watch him overnight and make sure his fluids were still being pumped.
am6 He was somewhat more perky at this point until we had to leave him. Oh, the guilt escalated quickly when we saw the realization in his eyes that we were leaving him yet again. Early Tuesday morning we returned to puppy-ambulance him back to the vet for another day of monitoring. Guilt. Overwhelming.
Screen shot 2013-12-10 at 11.07.06 PM But it was all worth it! He’s alive and healing and HOME! I have the privilege of keeping his crate in my room to monitor him overnight and since his colon is reawakening, there’s an oh-so-lovely aroma that just won’t air out. This is love, guys.
am7 This is love.

I’ll be back with some holiday recipes later this week!

Anyone else suffer from insurmountable amounts of guilt when leaving your pet? It can’t be just me!

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Turkey Potstickers with Spicy Sweet Gingerbread Beer Dip

Do you guys remember a few weeks ago when I got a delicious present in the mail?
AM2 I was sent some of Bison Brewing’s Organic Gingerbread Ale from the owner of the company to develop some recipes and pairings. I wracked my brain for ideas and finally came up with a stroke of beery-genius last night after making homemade potstickers. They were tasty but not quite mind-blowing, and the spicy sauce I served them with was overpowering and unbalanced. A lightbulb switched on and I remade them for lunch today with some boozy additions.
am15 California and Colorado – these two were made for each other.

Turkey Potstickers with Spicy Sweet Gingerbread Beer Dip

Serves Makes 40-45 potstickers
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
By author Adapted from Alton Brown
Piping hot homemade potstickers with a hint of cinnamon and gingerbread are served with a spicy sweet dipping sauce made with Bison Brewing's Organic Gingerbread Ale.

Ingredients

  • 1lb organic ground turkey or chicken
  • 1/2 bell pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 1/4 cup green onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Bison Brewing Gingerbread Ale
  • 2 teaspoons Worchestshire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 packet wonton wrappers
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (divided)
  • 1/2 cup Bison Brewing Gingerbread Ale
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (Frank's Wing Sauce or Schultz Spicy Sweet as examples)

Note

Make the dipping sauce ahead of time to free up space on your stovetop.

Directions

For the dipping sauce
Step 1
In a small pan whisk together the brown sugar and beer over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer until the mixture is reduced by half (about 40 minutes).
Step 2
Remove from the heat and whisk in the two tablespoons of hot sauce. Put into a serving dish to let it thicken for five minutes and then serve.
For the potstickers
Step 3
In a large bowl combine the first twelve ingredients (turkey or chicken through cayenne pepper) and set aside.
Step 4
Take one wonton wrapper from the package and cover the packet with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out and cracking. Dip your fingers in water and wet two edges of the wrapper.
Step 5
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and lightly spray with olive oil once hot.
Step 6
Place the wontons in the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip to brown the other side.
Step 7
After browning both sides, pour in just enough vegetable broth to cover the base of the pan and cover the pan with a lid for one minute to steam through. Serve, wipe the pan with a paper towel to remove the stock residue and repeat with the rest of the potstickers.

am4 I’ve always loved making balsamic reductions for salads and ice cream, and decided to go for it with this beer as well. For this recipe, I recommend starting the Gingerbread Ale reduction while you assemble the potstickers.
am5 Combine the brown sugar and Gingerbread Ale, whisk together and set to simmer for about 40 minutes or until reduced by half.
am9 That’s about right. Remove it from the heat, whisk in the hot sauce and pour it into a serving dish.
am Combine the first twelve ingredients and prepare for a hassle with some wonton wrappers. The hassle is worth it, I promise you.
am6 Wet the edges of the wonton wrappers with water and place a teaspoon of the filling in the center, being careful not to overstuff it.
am7 Fold the wonton wrapper over and press the edges to seal in the goodness.
am8 Repeat until all your filling is used up.
am10 Put ’em in a hot pan and brown each side.
am2 Pour in just enough vegetable stock to coat the bottom of the pan and immediately place a lid on top to steam these bad boys for another minute.
am13 Serve them immediately, paired with a Bison Brewing Organic Gingerbread Ale to tame the flame from the spicy sauce.
am14 This is a sauce I think even the Heat Freaks can get behind! Enjoy!

Any recipes you’d like me to beerify? Have you ever beerified a recipe?

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Wilted Kale and Quinoa Salad with Maple-Glazed Pecans

How’s everyone faring after the long, intensive weekend of leftovers?
am Our second Thanksgiving was stuffed full of butter and excessive amounts of meat, just because. We had to make up for the vegan binge the night before.
AM1 Since that fateful day, we’ve been starting each morning with a kale smoothie. Of course, the kale smoothie might just happen to come after I’ve eaten more leftovers, but I feel like it kind of balances it out, right?

Today I’m bringing the recipe for that kale salad that we had on Thanksgiving. I think I’ll be making it again for Christmas dinner with the addition of some roasted pomegranate arils!
AM7

Wilted Kale and Quinoa Salad with Maple-Glazed Pecans

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
By author Lightly adapted from Angela Liddon
Warm and crunchy kale salad with a burst of tart sweetness from white balsamic vinegar and maple-glazed pecans.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups baby kale (washed and finely chopped)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup pre-cooked quinoa (use vegetable broth for more flavor)
  • 3/4 cups pecans
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoon flavored white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 handful Craisins (or substitute pomegranate arils)

Directions

Step 1
In a large pan on the stove, toast the pecans over medium-high heat until fragrant.
Step 2
Drizzle the maple syrup over, stirring constantly, then pour the pecans onto a sheet of parchment paper and place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Step 3
In a small food processor, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and process for about thirty seconds.
Step 4
In a large bowl, combine the finely chopped kale, warm quinoa, pecans and Craisins (or pomegranate arils) and drizzle the dressing over the top.
Step 5
Toss and consume.

AM10 This salad is pretty easy to put together once you’ve done the rinsing and chopping. We had leftover quinoa in the fridge so we didn’t have to labor over that for half an hour.
AM2 Toasting the pecans.
AM3 Maple-glazed! This makes the salad!
AM4 So does the white balsamic vinegar – Cara-Cara Orange/Vanilla from my favorite olive oil shop in Fort Collins.
AM6 Throw everything into a bowl and top with warmed quinoa, then toss.

I hope you’re all having a good start to the week! I’m off to another day at the brewery and I couldn’t be happier with my life. Prost!

What are your post-Thanksgiving cleansing foods/plans?

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