My life has been consumed by writing papers for class and working at the brewery. I’m okay with the latter, not so much with the former when they take away from my blogging time… Yesterday I wrote an entire paper while at the brewery. It made it a lot more bearable, being able to distract myself by helping mash in and working the tap room. My paper might suck, but at least it’s done!
Plus, now I have these awesome bruises from mashing in! Apparently I incorrectly rest my forearm on the edge of the mash tun while stirring. This is the second time that I’ve ended up bruised and battered from mashing in. I plan on resting my forearm on the edge of the mash tun from now on so I can whine about it and annoy the brewers at Enegren. I’m sure they’ll appreciate that.
The rest of this blog will be random pictures that I’ve taken over the past week and been far too busy to post.
Sparks flying at Enegren Brewing Company.
The lovely Ms. Sofia Pernas, rocking a “Lara Croft” French braid, a la me. I’m a French braiding rock star.
A beautiful sunrise to transition to the next, terrifying picture.
Black and white jumping spider of death and terror with millions of minions of spider-zombies.
A close up of the black and white jumping spider of death with millions of minions of spider-zombies and his evil eyes and pincers.
A delicious mise en place of my Autumn Pumpkin Ale Chili in preparation for something super sneaky.
Super sneaky sneak preview.
Post super sneaky stuff adult beverage. Bison Brewing Gingerbread Ale. They tweeted about this going out two weeks ago and I’ve been seeking it ever since. It took oh, so very long to find it. In my world, two weeks is an eternity.
Me enjoying said adult beverage. This porter has a nice aroma of ginger on the nose and a spicy, beautifully carbonated sip that explodes across the tongue with sweet ginger and a whisper of nutmeg. HIGH drinkability factor. Be warned, it goes down easier than you’d expect. On a completely unrelated note, I’m extremely chillaxed and happy and full of ginger as we speak.
Unfortunately, that is all. I have some awesome stuff coming up this week that I’ll be sure to photograph!
I’m freaking exhausted. Ora and I broke a new record for breaking down the booth today. An hour and thirty-two minutes! The first time I ever did this – 7 months and 12,800 miles ago, it took us four hours. So for this random post, mainly full of random pictures from the last week of things that make me happy, I blame 12,800 miles of driving for my job in the span of 7 months, the two flautas stuffed with guacamole and the margarita (and a half) that I had tonight.
Hanging out with this blurry yet hot chica, eating massive amounts of sandwiches at a kitschy little coffee shop and talking until our throats were sore. There aren’t many girls that I can put up with – Sofia is one of a handful. Besides her being so awesome, she eats massive amounts of food like I do. For that (and her awesome personality I guess…), I adore her.
Amazing elementary school workbook. Is Fred a Hooker, or is Frank a Hooker? Oh, my terrible, immature mind.
MOCHA CHAI! I had one in Monterey on my 21st birthday and never forgot. This one wasn’t quite as good, but I’ll eventually seek out that little coffee shop and relive the experience!
Moustache Man! This epic mustache that stretched from each end of the jaw to the other made my day. I wish I’d gotten a full view, but I was being pretty obvious with my camera phone as it is…
Lagunitas IPA at Grayson’s place. I drank it out of the bottle since I’d had it before and didn’t want to be a pain in the ass and make him wash a glass. I’m accommodating like that…
My first Pliny the Elder. JOY! I saw this on the menu at the pub we went to and flipped out. The nose on this is full of spicy hops and happiness. The first sip was sweeter than I was expecting, which was actually a nice change from most of the IPAs I’ve had lately. It’s nice to get some body and malt along with the bitterness of the hops. LOVE in a glass.
The largest of Grayson’s dogs. Queenie? Maybe that’s her name? Gray, if you had fewer than four dogs I’d know, but seven is just TOO MANY!
Two of my best friends and me. Caption: Grayson ponders the true meaning of the artsy photographs that Joelle (my roommate from college and LA) is perusing. I jump in wearing what looks like a piece of gigantic paper, but in reality is a cute off-the-shoulder shirt that has an unfortunately lame saying on it. I blame the Pliny. I blame the Pliny for that sentence, and for the shirt. I just blame the Pliny.
Food in a cup.
That is all.
I am now a teacher. I tutor what I like to call “How to Impress Your Man with Food”. One of my pupils can attest to the fact that this tutoring does, indeed, have successful results.
Filet Mignon Chili
12 ounces filet mignon
2 large onions, chopped
1 large can kidney beans (25-30 ounces depending where you buy)
2-28 ounce cans quality, unsalted diced tomatoes
1-4 ounce can hot diced green chilies (go spicy or go home!)
1/4 cup dark red chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium, then add chopped onions.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper, then chop the filet mignon into bite-size pieces.
3. When the onions are softened and translucent, add the filet mignon and cook until browned.
4. Take your kidney beans, drain and rinse them in a colander. You can skip the rinsing, but I prefer a lower salt content – that way I can add it as necessary when seasoning.
5. Once the meat is browned, add the 1/4 cup of dark red chili powder. This will create a paste of the lovely meat drippings. Cook the mixture for about two minutes.
6. Add the rinsed and drained kidney beans, diced tomatoes and green chilies and stir well.
7. Bring the chili up to a boil, then set to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9. Watch your significant other fall in love right before your very eyes. With the chili. And then with you.
This chili is AMAZING and ADDICTING! However, if you REALLY want to impress someone, make it a day before then set it in the fridge to let the flavors marry, then blow their mind the next day!
This chili absolutely MUST be served with some kind of cheesy bread. My personal favorites are Cheddar and Jalapeno, and Cheddar and Garlic from Great Harvest.
It also helps to serve the chili and bread with delicious beer. This is my educated recommendation.
For those who are just beginning to appreciate IPAs, but want something a little easier on the senses, Sweetgrass APA by Grand Teton Brewing is a good one.
This baby is one of the most surprising I’ve encountered – a beautiful amber that tastes like a stout! High drinkability factor. Freakin’ delicious.
Coronado Brewing Mermaid’s Red Ale.
Chocolate lovers will adore Eight-Ball Stout from Lost Coast. Rich with heavy notes of coffee and chocolate = heavenly!
I recommend “In Mem’ry of Bacon” if you’re looking for a nut brown, however, since that isn’t in stores another good stand-by is Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale.
And finally, if you want to enjoy the burn that is somehow enhanced by sweet carbonation, try this gem: Sam’l Smith’s Organic Strawberry Handcrafted Fruit Ale.
Your night is now complete.
I had to. I just HAD to. I hadn’t been there in almost a month and I could tell that Ladyface missed me almost as much as I missed her, so I took a nice detour and made that special visit. Because, you know, Roman Holiday wasn’t enough of a mini-vacation for me…
Okay, maybe Roman Holiday WAS enough of a mini-vacation – I stuck with a small taster of Chesebro IPA instead of a full glass. Shocking, I know!
According to Ladyface, sweet potatoes are “out of season”. The giant bag I have sitting on my counter begs to differ. I’m not known to throw fits though, as long as I get some sort of edible fod, so I settled for a few of the mouth-watering regular fries with red ale ketchup that Sofia had ordered before I’d arrived…
…and after a long peruse of the happy hour menu, ended up with the same thing she ordered.
A big fatty burger with white cheddar. Oooooh, I LOVE the way the grease makes it shine! It was SO AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! Seriously, sometimes all a girl needs is a little grease!
We attempted to take a cute picture. Sofia was in heels, so this is me on the very tips of my toes attempting to look like a normal-sized person next to her. It worked, right? Don’t answer that.
Of course we couldn’t end without dessert! This is the CENTER PIECE of the bread pudding! If you ever order bread pudding from ANYWHERE, order the center piece! It will make your life worth living! We asked our waiter to get us the center piece and then followed up by asking the general manager to make sure that we got the center piece. Not that we’re high maintenance or anything…
What, your non-food-blogger friends don’t take pictures of their food too? If they ever get a center piece of the bread pudding, they would! Center Piece.
After, we drove through the mountains to visit the old abandoned town I love – Paramount Ranch.
I lent Sofia my Converse while we walked around. We were hanging out on the porch when two girls came by – one carrying a camera and the other dolled up to high heaven. They walked over to the mountainside and started taking pictures. A few moments later, a big burly guy carrying a guitar lumbered around the corner and stood in front of them, strumming a little serenade. Everywhere they went to take pictures, he lumbered after, strumming away. It was awkward to watch.
Almost as awkward as watching Sofia try to walk to her car after putting her fancy-schmancy heels back on…
Hahahaha! That picture just made my day!
Yesterday was my last day of retail! I’m technically still “on-call” but after last night, there will be no more! I just can’t take it anymore – the sitting around, waiting for customers who never come, doing homework at the counter and no one really cares because there’s nothing to miss… It’s just a waste of my time, so I’m officially done!
To celebrate, I opened my second to last growler of Dos Beckis.
I think it has passed its peak! I think it’s been sitting a little too long with the trub… The flavor is a little metallic-y now, and the hops have definitely added more bitter to it. I still drank it, AND enjoyed it! No worries!
Today, I celebrated by meeting someone who I’ve only met on the internet. How risqué am I? I’ve known this person for a little over a month - we were assigned to the same group project (in an internet college course) and have exchanged many e-mails and Skype conversations. I risked my life today…
She’s TERRIFYING! This is Sofia Pernas, the most brizziliant person in my class. Seriously, she’s the only one in the entire class who uses correct grammar and doesn’t need a thesaurus to think up big words when she writes. Oh yeah, and she’s an incredibly gorgeous, talented actress. That too…
We met up at Caffe Aroma, another Breaking the Chain in Newbury Park. This place is freakin’ adorable! It’s very kitschy and is normally filled with elderly ladies wearing big red hats having tea parties. PERFECT for a first time meetup! If this scared her away, then it just wasn’t meant to be…
I ordered the ice blended green tea with boba (soy, thank you very much!) – one of the top recommended drinks to order on Yelp. This. Was. Luscious! I’d recommend this, but without the boba. The tapioca pearls varied between hard and crunchy and sickly sweet. I may have found my new substitute for my coffee until Lent is over, though! GREEN TEA SLUSHIES!
My turkey avocado sandwich in the foreground with Sofia’s tuna melt and chocolate shake in the back. I envied her combo, I must say…
…but then I saw the HUGE chunks of avocado and sprouts sticking out, layered between thick slices of bread that was baked with tons of walnuts and seeds. And my life was complete. I only finished half and asked them if they could keep the rest in their refrigerator so it wouldn’t go bad. Sweetly, they complied, “only if you don’t forget to take it with you!”
I FORGOT THE OTHER HALF The menu for this adorable little cafe is slightly pricey, but totally worth it for the peace and ambiance.
Like I said, kitschy and adorable. The service here was wonderful! The girl working behind the counter gave her recommendations, which we greedily consumed, and put up with our ridiculous giggling for FOUR hours!
Two apples, no plums.