Tag Archives: Summer

Davis Beer Week

17 Aug

The summer is almost at an end – I’m setting my alarm tonight for the first time in about a week. Tomorrow is the beginning of pre-year meetings and planning sessions even though the kids don’t come back for another week and a half. I’m not quite ready.

It was a weird summer. Not bad….but kind of bumpy. Summer work was overall good but I missed my trip home due to an ill timed flu. I spent one whole weekend in bed. Missing the flight, though, did mean I was in town for Davis Beer Week.

Even though I didn’t participate in many of the official events, I did a lot of unofficial tastings at home.

I kicked off beer week with a range of pale ales. First was Auburn Alehouse Independence Day Ale. Decent, but not noteworthy. IMG_0128.JPG

Although the cap was pretty awesome… IMG_0129.JPG

I also had Dale’s Pale Ale for the first time. Not sure how I’ve managed to miss it but it provided a nice pick me up to an afternoon reading educational books.

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Finally tonight in honor of fall I tried New Belgium’s Tour De Fall – of the three this was probably my favorite.

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I did go to a great class at the Davis Co-Op: Cooking with Beer. I got to watch the excellent chef there make four different recipe and sample each. We had Lambic Whipped Cream Cheese, Chocolate Stout Muffins (sooooo good!), Welsh Rarebit with a brown ale, and finally an IPA BBQ sauce.

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I wrapped the week up at the Davis Bike and Brew Fest. My friend Katy kindly went with me. Beer, sunshine, and a good friend – a perfect ending to summer.

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Caprese Polenta Stacks

15 Nov

Life has been busy. I don’t think I realized when I started this blog (almost a year ago, gasp!) just how bored I was with my life and work. I mean, I knew I wasn’t 100% satisfied sitting in an office for more than half of my days but I was looking for an outlet. Now that I’ve been back to teaching full time for three months I realize how totally exhausting it is, but also how completely engaging. Thus, my painfully, painfully behind posts.

Now that it’s November a post about an amazingly fresh, summery caprese salad is a bit out of date but it was so yummy that I wanted to share. Plus I’m getting just enough distance from the 100 degree days that I’m missing summer a bit. I was inspired by Melissa at madeinmelskitchen.com.

Start by slicing up a polenta log. Sprinkle each slice with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and then cook in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Next, flip and cook 2-3 minutes on the other side. For some extra deliciousness you next sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on one side, flip, cook for a bit, then flip and melt the cheese on the other side. With this alone I would be satisfied!

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I let the polenta cool then stacked them with alternating slices of farmers market tomatoes and mozzarella.

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Top with basil and a balsamic vinegar reduction (thanks Trader Joe’s!) and serve. Super easy and you look like an amazing and talented cook!

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June Beer Dinner

30 Jun

IMG_8348It’s been a month. Hell, it’s been more than a month since I last posted. Life just seemed to slip away from me in the last 40 days. The end of the school year came, then it was beer dinner time, hosting a baby shower for twins, and getting ready and starting my summer jobs. For awhile there I was only capable of thinking about three days ahead. Not good when you’re suppose to be planning things that need more than three days to prep. Now, though, I’ve finally managed to catch my breath.

At the beginning of the month I hosted my fourth beer dinner – Summer Seasonals! There was quite a variety of beers and lots of new guests. Both my cousins and their spouses came for the first time, plus a new co-worker. It’s always fun to have new people.

Seeing as it was the beginning of summer I went with a beach theme! Super cute but now I’m not sure what to do with beach balls and sand toys…

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For dinner we started with veggie kabobs and rice…

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Then black bean sliders and chips. (Recipes to come!)

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Dessert was stout floats! I had to test out many different stout and ice cream combinations but I finally decided on Lagunitas Imperial Stout with coffee ice cream.

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I paired the kabobs with a local amber by Track 7 Brewing Co. I haven’t made it out to the tap room yet, but hopefully by the end of the summer. The Daylight Amber is probably my new favorite amber. It rich without being too hoppy. Same for the Goose Island IPA I paired with the Black Bean Sliders. I first tried this beer at the Sac Beer Fest and really liked it. I think I’ve grown into hoppier IPAs since, but even my sister liked this one.

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The beers we tried this time:

  • Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest – Too hoppy for me (I guess I haven’t grown that much)
  • Samuel Adams Summer Ale – Pretty good but wasn’t anything remarkable
  • Leinekugals Summer Shady – Totally different beer; reminded me of the malt beverages I choose when I first started drinking…
  • Big Sky Brewing Summer Honey – Probably my favorite; sweet without being too much
  • Blue Moon Agave Nectar – Was good, but a little too sweet for me
  • Anchor Summer Beer – I don’t remember…

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The next beer dinner is schedule for the beginning of August but I’ll also be moving then so we’ll see. I guess that just means more time for me to test-taste some beers!