Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lessons and Obsessions: 2 {GIVEAWAY}

The giveaway is at the end of the post. This is me hoping you’ll read through because you’re super interested in the minute details of my super exciting life… Yes? Right? Halloo??

Obsession:
am Chia Kombucha.
am6 I just “happen” to end up near a Whole Foods almost every day…
AM10 And I can’t stop buying these!!!
am23 I even purposely avoided Whole Foods today, but found more at a local grocery store that’s closer to my current house. Can someone please direct me towards a good Kombucha kit? Save my wallet? PLEASE??

Lesson:
AM11 Cars should be washed more than once every nine months. And when one decides to wash said car, one should make sure that it’s not supposed to snow the next day. Something like that might negate said car wash.

Obsession:
am9 This sauce. I first purchased it in California at the farmers’ market four years ago and made recurring purchases almost every month. (I tried to recreate it once after I decided it was “too expensive” and ended up massively regretting that decision.)
AM3 I found it at We Olive in Ventura (after scouring the same farmers’ market for Lourdes’s stand) this past visit to Cali and started slathering it on EVERYTHING.
am17 Last night, the jar ran out. I panicked and ran to Instagram to let everyone know how woeful and distraught I was, as normal people would.
Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 5.46.19 PM Luckily, just before I imploded from stress and depression, Lourdes Gourmet contacted me via Twitter and saved the day with a coupon! Ricardo (who runs the social media for Lourdes Gourmet) and I are besties now. Just so you know.

Lesson:
AM12 If you have an entire Saturday off (which hasn’t happened since I was hired, minus the vacation Saturday last week) and you’re hoping to be productive, don’t go visit friends on what you later find out that it’s “National Margarita Day”. Instead, go visit friends on “National Margarita Day” and plan on having an awesome time, laughing your ass off, playing “pimps and hoes” and not going to bed until 3am. Errands can always be pushed back one day. Even laundry. Perfume works wonders on dirty clothes. Sorry for that, coworkers…

Obsession:
am5 My new house!!! The shingles are on, the plumbing is in and the electrical is almost done!
am4 I enjoy my mountain view while I still can, before the house next door goes up.
AM9 You can’t tell here, but I’m doing a mirror selfie in my new bathroom. If I had a mirror, it’d look like this:
am2 Except there wouldn’t be a bowl of towels or weird yellow paint on the walls. And I wouldn’t be doing a selfie because it’s shameful and everyone hates them…
am3 But if I were doing a selfie (which I would never do, or admit), I’d be sure to show off this other obsession – my new Ladyface tank I got on my trip! I’ve worn it around way too much already.)

Lesson:
AM14 Sauteing grated butternut squash smells like sushi. Weird.
am16 If you’re making Jenna’s latest recipe for Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Risotto and you’re really hungry and want to be fed in less than two and a half hours, don’t sub in short grained sprouted brown rice (no matter how healthy it is). If you can wait and want to be healthy ‘n stuff, definitely sub it in. A delicious pain in the ass dish.
am18 And no matter what you make, be sure to top it with crazy amounts of goat cheese. Because goat cheese is delicious.

Obsession:
am7 These. I found them while I was at the grocery store with my bro, convinced (haha, yeah, like he needed to be convinced) him to buy the pack and then proceeded to steal one. I guarantee you if I’d purchased the pack, I would’ve consumed them all within half an hour. No joke.

Lesson:
AM13 Kobe Sushi in Loveland makes their brown rice with black beans. That’s all.

Which brings me to my last obsession, and the giveaway!
am19 Books in the mail! Back to Butter is the creation of my friend Molly from Apricot Lane Farms and her mother. I’ve tried Molly’s food at the farm before. It is beyond epic. I’ll be in my kitchen until further notice.
am15 The copies finally arrived in the mail – thanks Dennis! I have three more of these babies to give away to my amazing readers!
am22 Gratuitous photography of my photography in said book. I’m still ridiculously proud.
am21 Here’s the deets: All of you who commented on the last giveaway are still entered to win one of the new copies! As a bonus and because I think you’re all amazing and love you so very much, you can be entered up to two more times (more means in addition to those other entries from the last giveaway, in case you were unsure)!!!

How to enter: Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know your favorite food and beer pairing. Be specific! Make sure you leave a valid e-mail so I can contact you if you win!

For a second entry: Follow me on Twitter! Leave a comment on this blog post telling me you followed! (If you already follow, leave a comment letting me know)

For a third entry: Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter and link this blog post (and @ me so I can add an entry for you)!

For a fourth entry: Follow me on Facebook and leave a comment on this blog post telling me so! (If you already follow, leave a comment letting me know)

For a fifth entry: Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on this blog post letting me know! (If you already follow, leave a comment letting me know)

You get up to FIVE entries for this one! Open to U.S. residents only (so sorry, my other followers. Shipping be cray cray) . This giveaway will run through next Tuesday, March 4th at 6pm MST. I’ll randomly select two winners and contact you by e-mail!

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Vegan Whole Grain Protein Bread

Thursday was a homemaker day: a lazy morning lounging by the fire sipping copious amounts of coffee and reading blogs. An hour long intensive workout followed by an aromatherapy shower. A load of laundry. Making the bed with clean sheets. Folding warm clothes fresh from the dryer. Answering reader emails, writing interview quotes, figuring out ways to use up the spinach that’s about to peak.
Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 10.56.05 PM Green monstas. I adore them.
Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 10.56.18 PM Kale with leftover Tuno salad and diced pickles, topped with wheat berries.
AM Freshly baked bread. Meditation and kneading bread are the same thing.
AM1 Standing in the kitchen, staring out at the Rocky Mountains while Bastille plays through the dining room speakers, wrist deep in tacky dough that smells of maple syrup and warm yeast. That was my Thursday.
AM2 Once the piping hot loaves emerged from the oven, they were delicately sliced and placed in the basking glow of the sunset for photographing.
AM3 I almost forgot to taste test but, just in time, slathered a slice with my chimichurri sauce to inhale.
AM4 And it was gooooood.

Vegan Whole Grain Protein Bread

Serves 10
Prep time 3 hours
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Bread
Vegan whole grain bread studded with chewy wheat berries and packing a punch of quinoa protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pre-cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup pre-cooked wheat berries
  • 2 +1/2 - 3 cups whole wheat flour

Directions

Step 1
In a large bowl combine the warm water, maple syrup and dry active yeast and let rest for three minutes. (Water should not be so hot that you can't hold your finger in it comfortably)
Step 2
Stir in the salt, olive oil, wheat berries, quinoa and one cup of whole wheat flour.
Step 3
Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is tacky to the touch.
Step 4
On a floured surface knead the dough for 4 minutes, then shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm room to rise for two hours.
Step 5
Once the dough has double in size, punch down, split into two and shape into two loaves.
Step 6
Place on a greased baking pan, cover and let rise again for one more hour.
Step 7
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until tops are browned.
Step 8
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

AM5 Happy Friday! You made it through the week! What are your big plans for the weekend?

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WIAW 2: Tuno

I’ve been playing around in the kitchen a bit since coming back from California. A little detox was needed after the crazy amount of fried fish, buffalo chicken sammiches and good Cali brews that I enjoyed in the sunshine. Tuesday was the initiation of cleansing foods, which ended up being delicious! Go figure.
am5 My breakfast before getting back into the intensive workout regimen (after a wonderful vacation full of lazy mornings sipping coffee on the beach) – a hot boiled egg and two giant cups of coffee in an ugly rooster mug.
am11 My ugly rooster mug collection! I keep finding these awkward mugs at Home Goods and they look at me like they need a home. I love it. I’m weird.
am After sweating my arse off with the workout, it was time for an icy cool down.
am1 An entire box of spinach, half a frozen banana, 1 lime, a handful of frozen peaches and blueberries and a little almond milk whirled into a creepy looking brown beverage.
am2 But dang, I love my monstas! No matter how unattractive, they’re always so delicious.
am3 Lunch was an experiment with soba noodles. I’ve used them once before in a stir fry and wasn’t impressed. This time I mixed up a little sesame oil, tamari, lemon juice, minced garlic, powdered ginger, red pepper flakes and a dash of honey and tossed in freshly roasted broccoli and the noodles.
am4 Soba noodles redeemed! Earthy noodles and a spicy, tangy dressing with fresh, slightly caramelized broccoli. Happiness.
am5 Homemade trail mix on the way to Whole Foods – raw almonds, roasted walnuts and cashews mixed with a few dried cranberries. Simple and satisfying.
am6 I saw this at Whole Foods and had to pick it up. Cherry Chia Kombucha. I used to drink Kombucha when I lived in West Hollywood and found it extremely weird. Add chia seeds to the mix and it becomes even weirder. I dig weird.
am7 And then the back statistics made me feel all healthy and crap. Bonus! Does anyone brew (ferment) their own Kombucha out there? I might be joining you on the endeavor soon and would love to hear feedback!
am8 Dinner: Tuno. It’s a little bit of a scary word… a frightening concept. Vegan tuna. Well, worry no longer: I put myself out there and experimented for you, and then took terrible pictures that don’t make it look appealing at all. *Hangs head in shame* Honestly though, this was absolutely amazing!
am13 I tend to stray as far away from vegan foods as possible in rebellion of my 10+ year vegan bro and sis-in-law, but curiosity got the best of me. A blend of chickpeas, almonds, diced celery, red pepper, green onions, tofu (normally a blech for me, but unnoticable when blended into the “mayonnaise” portion of this), and kelp granules. Scary but good. I piled a good cup onto a bed of arugula and added sauteed asparagus to the side.
am9 I felt like my meals for the day were almost too healthy, so I made sure to layer a bunch of this chimichurri sauce on a few slices of freshly baked crusty french bread. It’s all about balance.
am10 Today is a day made for baking bread and enjoying the 60 degree weather we’ve been blessed with! Happy Wednesday!

Any Kombucha brewers out there who can offer suggestions/warnings?

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Memory Lane (plus Giveaway Winners!)

I had an amazing five days in California seeing wonderful friends! I must say, I miss the 80 degree weather while sitting on the patio at Ladyface and the gorgeous sunsets from the beachfront hotel room in Oxnard, but it is so nice to be home in Colorado. I really do feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. Now for a picture-heavy recap of the trip, plus the winners of the Craft Beer for the Homebrewer book giveaway!
am11 Remember how I said that me as a 27 year old wouldn’t be skipping workouts? I may have lied to both you and myself and taken the rest of the trip off. Oops.
am13 Story Tavern in Downtown Burbank on a beautiful patio with even better temperatures and amazing beer. It was a rough start to the trip.
am Birthday breakfast at the hotel! A half serving of Eggs Benedict and copious amounts of horrible hotel coffee.
AM2 CUSTOM MELT to see my favorites Thomas and Phil! I was headed to the beach so I got some sammiches to go and sat around catching up with these two wonderful men.
AM1 I may have also tasted some of Enegren’s beer that I can’t get way out here in Colorado. Sniff.
AM3 Nothing Bundt Cake! I picked up a red velvet bundlet as my birthday cake and did a happy dance out the door.
AM4 No, we didn’t actually stay here, seeing that it’s abandoned and decrepit, but I had to swing by and say hello to one of my favorite formally-local hotels.
AM5 Once I got to the actual hotel, I scarfed down my Custom Melt sammich of choice – the Crispy Chicken: Thomas style. Fried chicken smothered in buffalo sauce and topped with carrots and celery in a creamy heaven sauce. My arteries were aching and it was so worth it.
AM6 A slow stroll on the beach followed by a relaxing sun-bath on the lifeguard stand.
AM7 Just because I’m artistic and stuff.
AM8 I hit the hotel hot tub to warm up and then sat out on the back deck to enjoy the sunset.
AM9 Blissed out.
AM10 Overpriced hotel salmon and cous cous for birthday dinner.
AM12 Sunrise the next morning.
AM32 Overwhelming beauty.
AM33 Okey, I am definitely missing this right now.
AM13 Lunch with my other favorites at Ladyface Alehouse in Agoura. The weather was to die for.
AM15 Beautiful mother and daughter!
AM14 And so very stylish, Avery! Now please stop chewing on Becki’s sunglasses…
AM16 I had to. I always have to. The mac ‘n cheese with bacon and jalapeno is too good to turn down, especially paired with the Ladyface IPA.
AM17 After saying farewell to Janelle and Avery, I went out to the mall to pick up some gelato and say hi to my friends who run the place, then enjoyed a walk through the farmers market.
AM18 Year round strawberries! It’s killing me to look at this.
AM19 Yet another stop on the food list. Andria’s Seafood at the Ventura Harbor.
AM39 And another sunset. You bored yet? Too bad.
AM24 Another sunrise that will never get old (to me).
AM20 I enjoyed a leisurely walk in Downtown Ventura and then drove up the coast to visit more of my favorite people who work at/own one of my favorite breweries. We had to visit The Spot for burgers and shakes while we waited for the brewery doors to open.
AM21 Island Brewing Company!
AM34 I enjoyed the Avocado Honey Ale with the ocean in the background. A perfect way to spend a Hallmark holiday.
AM35 Oh, I miss the ambiance of this place. They’re expanding to the space next door soon, and Mark was kind enough to give me a tour, which basically was him opening a door to a HUGE empty space and telling me to look while pointing out where the gigantic walk-in and canning station will be. Awesome.
AM22 Valentine’s Day flowers and sunsets make for a happy Becki.
AM23 Once I was back at the hotel I poured myself a Black Market Hefeweizen (all the beer consumed on this trip was beer that I can only find in California, for obvious reasons), and visited the pool for a swim.
AM36 More sunsets.
AM37 Never enough sunsets.
AM38 Sunsets with best friends.
AM40 Trying to be artistic again and forgetting to drink my Trader Joe’s Mission Street Anniversary Ale (which is only $2.99!!!). Luckily we have a Trader Joe’s opening here in Fort Collins soon! I missed it so much!
AM41 Okey, enough with the art.
AM42 The final sunset on the beach. Le sigh.
AM25 On Saturday afternoon I drove up to the Burbank area so I could catch my flight early on Sunday and checked into this awesome hotel. What a view!
AM26 Golden Road was visited. 2020 IPA and Berliner Weisse with woodruff syrup was had. Fried artichokes were consumed. The hotel was visited and slept in.
AM27 Bright and early Sunday morning, I was sitting back on the plane with my face pressed against the glass, trying to will myself not to cave and move back.
AM28 Oh, Lord, why?
AM29 Once I landed, I had to go and check on the progress of my new house! It was 63 degrees outside and the bathtubs were installed! I breathed in the fresh Colorado air and felt right once again.
AM30 The wind picked up last night, followed by an unexpected downpour. I opened up this Enegren Brewing 2nd Anniversary Dopplesticke that I’ve had aging in my cellar since right before I moved and sat by the fire enjoying the company of my wonderful family.
AM41 What a glorious trip it was.

Okay, you guys ready for the winners of the book? I assigned all of you entry numbers (you could get up to four), and did a random number generator online. The winners are…..
AM Courtney L. and Aaron C.!!!! I’ve sent you both e-mails to let you know! As for the rest of you…
IT’S NOT OVER YET!!!!!
The publisher has offered up THREE more copies for me to give away! If you didn’t win, your name is going into the next giveaway! As soon as I receive those copies, I’ll put up an extension to the giveaway and three more of you will get this book for free. If you can’t wait until then, here’s a link to buy the book:
Craft Beer for the Homebrewer: Recipes From America’s Top Brewmasters

Happy Monday to everyone!

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It’s My Older Day!

I’m 27 years old today. 2-7. Twenty-seven. Oy. Where has my youth gone?
am1 Yesterday morning I woke up to this. 9 degree weather. 9. Nine-degrees.
am4 But then I decided that instead of dealing with the cold, I’d just hop on a plane and head somewhere warmer.
am6 Still too cold for my taste.
am7 WAY too cold for my taste.
am8 I distracted myself from both the icy mountainous terrain outside, and from my impending aging by being reckless and having a Fat Tire at 9am. Oh, what a crazy 26 year old I was!
am9 As an early birthday present, I got the entire row to myself! Well, actually there were two people sitting there, but they got up right before the plane departed and moved a few rows back. I’d even showered that morning! Sheesh.
am10 When we landed in a much, much warmer place, I stuffed myself with fresh seared ahi tuna and spinach chips…
am11 Before heading back up to the room to get in my workout so I could have my actual birthday off. This 27 year old does not skip out on workouts! Well, except for on her birthday…
am12 Immediately after coming down from my endorphin high, we headed out via a free hotel shuttle to Downtown Burbank! I used to sell in beer at Story Tavern at my old job, so I knew the tap selection would be awesome.
am13 First up – Enegren Brewing’s Hickman Bitter. Such fond memories of this beer. And so. Freaking. Good.
am14 I got a few tastes of some other options on the lineup while perusing the Beer Paper LA and enjoying the gentle sun that streamed across the outside patio…
am15 …And settled down to another bitter while enjoying that 75 degree weather. There are definitely some aspects of California I miss, but man, it’s so much easier to enjoy the state when you’re vacationing and not residing!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! It ends Friday!

Now I’m off to celebrate my birthday with tons of food, bundt cake and ocean! Happy humpday!!!

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Craft Beer for the Homebrewer {GIVEAWAY}

A few months ago I was contacted by a publisher who’d seen some photos of mine and wanted to put them in a book about clone recipes for homebrewers. Um, okey!
AMYesterday I saw a tweet by the Beertographer (check out his photos, by the way. Absolutely beautiful beer porn) that his copies had just arrived. I lamented back in a tweet.
Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 8.24.02 AM Seconds after I posted that, a knock came at the door.
AM1“Didja hear dat?”
AM2“What dat? Who dat?”
AM3Well, my sweet Barleywhine, that’s called a book. It’s got about 40ish recipes from a bunch of high profile breweries.
AM7Cigar City, which I haven’t yet had a chance to visit or try.
AM9Rogue Ales, which I’ve been fortunate enough to taste, but not visit. Yet.
AM8Stone Brewing which I’ve visited, tasted, taken a test at, fallen in love with…
AM10The Bruery, which I’ve visited, tasted, re-taken a test at (rawr) and fallen in love with…
AM4And also a handful of smaller breweries like Funkwerks!
AM5Sorry, I still can’t get over seeing my name in another published book. Insert smiley face here.
AM6And there’s Andy who now works at New Belgium! Good to see some friends in this book!
AMAnd now it’s YOUR turn to get your hands on one of these! I’m giving away two copies to two lucky readers! I know I’ve got a LOT of lurkers and not many commenters, but you’re gonna hafta come out of your shells if you want one of these books. Your e-mails are private to everyone but me, so relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew. Wait, I mean relax, don’t worry and comment away.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know your favorite brewery and favorite beer that they produce! Make sure you leave a valid e-mail so I can contact you if you win!

For a second entry: Follow me on Twitter! Leave a comment on this blog post telling me you followed! (If you already follow, leave a comment letting me know)

For a third entry: Follow me on Facebook and leave a comment on this blog post telling me so! (If you already follow, leave a comment letting me know)

For a fourth (and final) entry: Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on this blog post letting me know! (If you already follow, leave a comment letting me know)

You get up to FOUR entries for this one! Open to U.S. residents only. This giveaway will run through next Friday, February 14th at 6pm MST. I’ll randomly select two winners and contact you by e-mail!

Happy homebrewing and happy Friday!!!

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InstaCold

I’m on an Instagram kick lately. And it’s been cold here. Really, really cold.

The snow is back! Actually, it arrived and then never really left. And boy, my driveway just loves being shoveled multiple times in one day.
am3 The snowy view from my new house. Windows are in! And it’s still as cold as a mothersomethinger inside.
am2 Looking at my room from inside my gigantic closet!
am4 After that visit to the house, we went over to Mainline for some hot butternut squash soup, chicken and dumplings and brews. I enjoyed a sip of my Red IIPA and was talking about plans for my birthday (which happens to be a week from today!) when I remembered something wonderful. Something incredible. I will be in the vicinity of a Nothing Bundt Cakes store on the day that I get extremely old. I threw my hands across the table in excitement and spilled the almost completely full glass of beer right into my lap. All because of Nothing Bundt Cakes. It’s that good.
am5 For some reason, I wasn’t feeling too kindly towards that Red IIPA after my jeans were wet and cold, so I decided to get a Tripel for my replacement beer. I avoided thinking about bundt cake this time.
am1 Then, after changing my jeans, it was time to head to work. A wonderful/terrible regular brought in a box of Samoas Girl Scout cookies for Nick and me (that is correct grammar, thank you very much), which I proceeded to pair with Coconut Porter. Pairing. It’s my thang.
am6 The brewery was preparing for the Superbowl, and had a crapton of pork shoulders slowly roasting away on the new smoker. I wasn’t going to be able to get a taste of those, so I had to recreate my own at home.
am Health was not in my vocabulary this past weekend.
am8 Superbowl Sunday came and I made these buffalo chicken jalapeno poppers from Half Baked Harvest using half the cream cheese and topped them with panko flakes seasoned with paprika and cumin. To. Die. For.
am7 Superbowl came and went. We won’t talk about that. I got yet another notification from 23 and Me that I don’t have any DNA and don’t actually exist, so my ancestry will always be a mystery. They refused to send me another sample, seeing that I never was born and there’d be no residence to send it to.
am9 Unfortunately the IRS didn’t agree that I don’t exist, so I had to go file my returns still. Boo-yah refund, baby!
am10 My cool new FitBit Force has resulted in a not-so-cool allergic reaction to the nickel plating on the backside. They offered me a full refund, but I’m going to give it a few more days and see if it resolves itself. Cuz I really like my FitBit.
am11 I worked at the brewery last night after a harrowing drive slide through the snow. It was a little cold there. Please note that this is the inside of the doors.
am12 Well would you look at that? My car does register the negatives! I didn’t know that before last night.
am13 And then I woke up to this. NEGATIVE SIXTEEN DEGREES.

I’m gonna go curl up in a ball in front of the fire and cry a little now.

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