I spent the day playing with my wonderful camera, Duke. Oh wait, you haven’t met Duke yet??
I ended up trading in my little Nikita for something a little more bulky with more capabilities – a Nikon D5100. With Duke, I can do this:
High Dynamic Range! I used the cheating software to do this though. I’m hoping to move on to bracketing soon enough, once I finally figure out more about my camera. Any HDR tips are more than welcome! The software also lets me do THIS:
I switched Duke over to manual and started adjusting ISO and f-stop and all of that fun stuff that I’m slowly but surely learning.
From this day forth, the pictures will be improving dramatically! My goal is to be on manual all the time, working on some bracketing for fun HDR pics in the future, and making my camera be more than just a point and shoot. After all, that was the whole point of getting a DigiSLR!
One reason why it’s taken me so long to start really learning my camera?
This is just one example of the many idiotic contributions to my psychology class discussion board online. This is college, yes? Are we now writing ‘u’ instead of ‘you’? Is punctuation and capitalization unnecessary? Should I end my sentences with an emoticon or a big ZOMGLOLROFL??? I’ve been distracted from my camera by this stupidity, slowly filled with rage with each and every “they’re family had this dog” or “I knew this one women once”…
Rant over. New rant time.
I was really excited to try a few of Mikkeller’s single hop IPAs. I grabbed four from Wades Wines and brought them out in preparation for a tasting, hoping to really be able to pull out the different aromas and flavors of each individual hop. I popped open the first bottle.
Don’t get it yet? Let’s take a closer look…
That. Is. Mold. Frantically, I popped the top off of the second one. MOLD. The third and fourth? MOLD!!! This makes for a very unhappy, thirsty lady. I took them back to Wades (not the fault of Wades Wines! Apparently friends of mine have also had problems with Mikkeller having DMS issues…) and swapped them out for Midnight Sun Treat, Iron Fist Velvet Glove and a Duchesse de Bourgogne. Opened the Treat just now.
Mold free and beautiful. I am content once again.
I’m off to enjoy a tall glass of this, then packing for a trip to Boulder City, Nevada tomorrey morning. Lo and behold, THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A BREWERY! Maybe the 99 degree Fahrenheit high that’s predicted for the entire weekend won’t be so bad after all…?
First things first: I AM NOW OFFICIALLY A CICERONE CERTIFIED BEER SERVER!
I took the test yesterday morning and passed with flying colors! WOOHOO!!!! In order to celebrate, I figured it was time to get something I’ve been drooling over for a long time.
I GOT A DigiSLR!!! A Nikon D3100 to be precise. After lots of research, I was deciding between the D3100 and the D5100. Since I won’t be focusing on video, I figured this one would be perfect. I’m in love!
After snapping dozens of photos around the house, I decided to take Nikita aka Nikki aka my new beloved camera, for a test drive.
Allie and I went to Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company in Calabasas.
The interior is bright, cheery and earthy. I love the rustic wood and gorgeous streaks of ruby paint racing across the walls.
I love the floor to ceiling windows! If you need natural light to test out your beautiful new camera, this is the perfect place for it!
They immediately brought out piping hot fresh bread with a funky purple dipping sauce. I forwent the sauce and just shoveled hunk after hunk of scorching sourdough into my mouth. Drool.
They brew their own beer on site. Awesome!
And the beer! From the top left: Golden Eagle – their blonde ale, Howlin’ Hef – self explanatory, Wolf Dog – A hoppy amber, Wild Angels – a sweet tripel, Midnite Howl – a mix of IPA and stout, and Oatmeal Stout – their guest brew on tap from Anderson Valley. Wolf Dog was my favorite – a nice, dry, beautifully hopped amber that finishes with a healthy bite of citrus hops.
SO good to have more options in local brews!
Allie and I split the Chicken and Brie sandwich – grilled chicken breast, gooey brie cheese, guacamole, sundried tomatoes and chipotle mayo on ciabatta bread. We subbed the sweet potato fries for the regular chipotle. DROOL AGAIN! Any place that has sweet potato fries is a win on my list.
Dessert was – COMPLIMENTARY! The waitress brought out this amazing sculpture of maple ice cream studded with vanilla beans, sandwiched between sweet waffles, drizzled with a maple cream and fresh berries. They served maple syrup on the side, but it was sweet enough without. This definitely cemented my adoration for Wolf Creek.
And to finish, I had to share (with Allie’s permission of course) – Allie (not a fan of bitter beers) tries her first sip of a black IPA.
I love my cousin. And my new camera that was able to capture, in succession, this amazing piece of history.
For the show in Fremont, I hoped against all odds that there would be some type of place in the area that served craft beer. Using my handy BeerWhere application on my phone, I found a brewery! In Fremont! Yessssss!
Jack’s Brewing is a little sports pub in the middle of downtown Fremont. It’s not labeled well and if not for the “Jack’s Brewing Company” van parked out front, I may have never found it.
Their selection of beer was decent. They had the standards: wheat, APA, amber, IPA, porter, plus a seasonal pilsner and double IPA.
Lemon in the wheat. Grumble grumble grumble. Overall I enjoyed the double IPA and amber the best. The wheat was watery, unflavorful and meh, but everything else surprised me with quality! All the beers were sweeter and malty with unfermented sugars, but it wasn’t off-putting. Decent sessionable beers with low ABVs.
I would like to add that this was the best pilsner I’ve had to date! I’m not a fan of the style, but I think the malty body really made me enjoy this pilsner. I’m fairly certain that the SRM is way too high to qualify as a true pils, but I sure enjoyed it!
We split an order of the artichoke dip – holy freaking delicious. I stole all of the cheese and inhaled giant dollops of this on the chips they provided. I was full before we even looked at the entrees.
And yet, somehow, I was able to fit more food in. The grilled salmon salad. I didn’t eat the salad – that’s just filler. The salmon was wonderful! Tender, juicy, caramelized on top from the grill. I love me some salmon!
Dessert? I couldn’t. Pecan-apple bread pudding? Okay, fine! Stop badgering me! We got this plate to split amongst four of us. I ate the entire thing. You snooze, you lose when it comes to bread pudding and me. This spiced bread was studded with candied pecans and sweet, juicy bites of apple, and drizzled with raspberry and caramel sauce. I would have licked the plate, but that would make me appear less of a lady.
After two weeks on the road, it’s so wonderful to be home! I brought back many good memories, and I’m ready to make some new ones.
Stone Brewing Japanese Green Tea IPA – had it last night. Adding green tea to the second dry hop and calling it a green tea IPA? It doesn’t work that way! There wasn’t a hint of green tea in the aroma or flavor. A delicious, wonderfully hoppy IPA nonetheless. I’ll be working through the rest of these soon!
I’m also on the hunt for a good DigiSLR under $1200. Any recommendations? I’m gonna get all professional and stuffs. And then I’ll drink more beer!
Stay tuned for a mass amount of recipes this week! I’m home again and my kitchen needs cooking/baking/sauteing/FOODING!