Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Battle

This past Saturday we (Kelly and I along with a few of our friends and some newly met acquaintances) went to the first ever Fathead's Brewery Heavyweight Brewers Battle. Most of the tasty libations on draft on this great Saturday were more than 8% alcohol.  It was a tough task for a Saturday afternoon, but we were more than ready to battle with these high alcohol beers.

Yes, we have been to quite a few beer tastings (ie - Brewzilla, Blues & Brews at Stan Hewett Gardens, et al), but never before did we look at the list and feel the need to proceed with caution  ;)

Jose getting knocked out by the Heavy Weight Mascot

A sold out crowd, giving it their all, battling to the last drop

Jennifer and Kelly were among a small number of ladies, nonetheless they were troopers and held their own

Below is a list of the delicious drafts made available to us. We went to the 1pm-4pm session - we highly doubt that all of these were available for the evening session!

Fat Head’s - Head Hunter (Draft; CASK) & Bean Me Up Coffee Stout
Rot Weizen & Battle Axe Baltic Porter
Buckeye - Aquarius DIPA*; Zatek Imperial Stout*
Cornerstone - Devil’s Advocate Barleywine; Evil Entity Black IPA
Willoughby - Apricot Ale; Pride of Willoughby Peanut Butter Porter
Brew Kettle - Cabo Wabo* Old #21 IPA; Tunguska Imperial Stout
Black Box - Javelin Rye; Crooked River ESB
Great Lakes - Wit’s End*; Lake Erie Monster DIPA
Rocky River - Hoptimus Prime IPA; Hell of a Bock Maibock
Thirsty Dog - Hoppin Dog Belgian Pale; Toil and Turmoil Imp Dubbe*
Indigo Imp - Gatekeeper Porter; Sour Gatekeeper*
Columbus Brewing - IPA; Creeper Barleywine*
Gordon Biersch - Maibock; Czech Pilsner
Pennsylvania Brewing - Zwickel Kaiser Pilsner; Maibock

Bear Republic - Crazy Ivan Belgian Blend*; Ryevalry Belg Rye IPA
Founder’s Double Dry Hop Centennial IPA (CASK)*; Double Trouble DIPA
Victory - Samragd Belgian Pale; Smokin Oats Smoked Oatmeal Porter*
Sierra Nevada - 2008 Bigfoot Barleywine*; Summerfest Lager
Bell’s - Third Coast Old Ale; Expedition Imperial Stout
Troegs - Sunshine Pilsner; Hop back Amber*
Stone - Old Guardian Barleywine* & Levitation Amber
New Holland - Imperial Mad Hatter IPA
Dogfish Head - Burton Baton*;  Raison d Etre
North Coast - Brother Thelonius Belgian; Red Seal APA

*denotes a beer we recommend you try

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Two New Recipes That You'll Want To Try

This evening presented a rare break in our schedules, allowing us the opportunity to do something we hadn't done together in weeks. . .

Cook a fun little meal  :)

The inspiration for the recipes we chose to prepare was drawn from none other than two lovely local foodies whom we respect and enjoy their company: Heidi Robb and Michelle Venorsky (aka Cleveland Foodie)

After a conversation with Heidi regarding a recent purchase of a Donna Hay cookbook that was unknowingly written in Spanish (she was so taken by the beautiful photographs that she didn't notice that the recipes were not written in English), we were pleasantly reminded that we have quite a few Donna Hay magazines we somehow forget to peruse while brainstorming for recipe ideas.  As a result, we experienced no shortage of creativity while revisiting the breathtaking food photography contained within the pages of Donna Hay.

And, thus we arrived at the following delicately indulgent hors d'oeuvre:

Lemon and Zucchini Puffs

Note: Be careful while frying and don't try to burn down your place like Kelly nearly did

3 large zucchinis, shaved into ribbons (courgettes)
3 eggs
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves sliced thinly
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Oil for shallow frying
Sea salt and cracked pepper

Lemon Aoili
1/2 cup mayonaise (we forgot to buy, and simply used lemon and garlic, still fabulous)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed

Whisk mayo, lemon and garlic and set aside.

Combine zucchini, flour, eggs, mint and seasoning. Heat 1 cm oil (1/3 inch) in a large non stick frying pan. Add 2 tablespoonfuls and fry in batches until puffed and golden.

And, after reading Michelle's Quinoa post a little while back, we became very excited to not only try the Mark Bittman recipe but the following NYT recipe as well:

Baked Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese

1 6-ounce bag baby spinach

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 plump garlic cloves, minced

4 cups cooked quinoa, (1 cup uncooked)

2 large eggs

3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish.

2. Heat a medium frying pan or a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Wash the spinach and without spinning dry, add to the pan and wilt in the liquid left on the leaves after washing. You may have to do this in 2 batches. As soon as the spinach wilts, remove from the heat and rinse with cold water. Squeeze dry and chop. Set aside.

3. Wipe the pan dry and heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in it over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir with the onion until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the quinoa, the onion and spinach mixture, the Gruyère, and the sage. Add freshly ground pepper and stir the mixture together. Scrape into the gratin dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until nicely browned on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to sit for about 5 minutes, and serve. 

We are happy to say that both of these recipes will be repeated again very soon.  Each being versatile and unique, having potential to be easily incorporated within a variety of meals/occasions.  Also, it's always a nice bonus when you can enjoy something delicious while being healthy, low-cal, and meat free!

Not to mention, thanks to The Blisslist, we listened to several of her great playlists while whipping up this memorable meal  :)

This was yet another motivator to post a few tracks that have been getting non-stop spins in our household:

[Mp3] Lisa Papineau - White Leather Pants

[Mp3] Peasant - Well Alright

[Mp3] The Radio Dept - Heaven's On Fire