Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Beerfest

Earlier this month we attended the Elysian 2011 Great Pumpkin Beer Festival. This is the 1st time this beerfest has been in Georgetown; it was held at the new Elysian Brewery on Airport Way.We went with some friends and had a great time. $20 gets you in the festival (or $25 if you buy tickets at the door), a collectible glass, and 6 drink tickets.

In no particular order, we had:
Elysian Kurbitinus
Elliot Bay PABST
Elysian The Great Pumpkin
St. Arnold Pumpkinator
Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout
Elysian Dark o' the Moon
Elysian Hansel & Gretel
Elysian MROPA
Uinta Punk'n
Elysian Coche de Medianoche
Howe Sound Pumpkineater
Midnight Sun Trickster

We also had a couple sips of our friend's beer, and also tried beer straight out of a pumpkin (this is the "main event" at the festival).We especially loved the beer from the pumpkin, and our other favorite beer was the Elysian Dark o' the Moon. All the rest of the beers were good, but a lot of them tasted really similar.

There were food trucks at the festival, but instead we ate at Smarty Pants, a local sandwich place. Really enjoyed the sandwich, although I was a bit tipsy so I can't properly review the restaurant. :)
I really enjoyed this event and plan on going next year, too. It's extra nice that it's only 5ish minutes from our house and on a direct bus line (super important when you're tipsy)!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pizza Pizza

I've cut back on the homemade pizza just a little (we were eating it weekly). We're still having it twice a month (or so), and I'm still really enjoying it. I had a bunch of broccoli and spinach to use up, so I turned to this recipe. I didn't love this recipe, it was actually a tad bland. I like stronger sauces, but this pizza still tasted pretty good. It was worth a try, but I won't be making it again.

Spinoccoli Pizza

Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup milk (any kind), heavy cream, or half-and-half (I used almond milk)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pizza Ingredients:
  • Pizza dough
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach leaves, torn
  • 1 cup very small broccoli florets
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • Grated Parmesan
  1. To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until bubbling and light golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk/heavy cream/heavy cream and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from the heat and whisk in the grated Parmesan until completely melted and smooth. Discard the garlic clove.
  2. To make the pizza, preheat the oven and a pizza stone at 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round. Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil. Spread a thin layer of the white sauce over the crust, leaving a border clear around the edge for the crust. Sprinkle the torn spinach leaves over the white sauce. Evenly distribute the broccoli florets over the dough. Layer evenly with the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Finish with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.
  3. Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Can't get enough - scones!

I love scones. Whether we're talking fair scones, English scones, buttermilk scones, blueberry scones, or any other kind of scone you can imagine. These scones were more like cookies, and they were totally delish. These aren't exactly healthy (they do include heavy whipping cream!) but they're a fun, once-in-awhile treat.

Chocolate Chip Scones

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter, diced
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 375?F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner.

Using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, sugars, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter or fork, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in the chocolate chips. Add the whipping cream to the flour mixture and stir just until the ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix! Drop the dough by large tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sesame Soba Noodles

Yep, it's yet another recipe from Annie's Eats. I think I might be addicted to her blog, and her recipes! Seriously. Go check her blog out right now, and then come back to mine. :)

This recipe is super ridiculously easy, and super tasty. Yet it's healthy, too! You can't beat it! We enjoyed this for dinner, and lunch the next day, and I also had a little bit left over that I tossed with regular green salad for a quick snack.

Sesame Soba Noodles


For the dressing:

½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp. sesame oil

2 tbsp. canola oil (I used olive oil)

2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

4 green onions, chopped

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

For the salad:

1 lb. soba noodles (or whole wheat pasta)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin

1 cup shredded red cabbage

2 carrots, peeled and shredded

1½ cups edemame, shelled and cooked (I used frozen)

Toasted sesame seeds, for serving


To make the dressing, combine the soy sauce, sesame and canola oils, vinegar, garlic, green onions and cilantro in a small bowl. Whisk well to blend.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Transfer the noodles to a large mixing bowl with the vegetables. Pour the dressing over the top and toss well so the noodles and vegetables are well coated with the dressing. Serve cold or at room temperature and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Organic Veggie Delivery Review

A couple of months ago I saw an organic delivery service on Groupon. Freggies was offering $60 of produce for just $24, it was an offer I couldn't refuse! Not only was I excited to get to try this service, but I also got to cross it off of the goal list for this year. Woot!!

I was super excited to get the delivery; in my area they offer delivery on Wednesdays. The special was for a variety of produce; their regular customers get to choose what they're receiving each week.

The box was delivered to my front door, and my dogs helped me check it out. :) This is what I received in the box (with the regular prices, but remember I obviously got them for much cheaper):4 bagels from Seattle Bagel Bakery $3.99

Cherry tomatoes 3.99

2 pears 2.54

Nectarine 1.65

Plum 2.64/lb

Lemon 1.24

Orange .78

Kiwi 3.63/lb

Banana 1.52

2 broccoli heads 7.70

Green onions 1.21

Carrots 3.33

2 potatoes 2? (estimated)

Cucumber 2.9

Mini Watermelon 6.32

Leek 2.9

Onion 1.25

Bag of romaine hearts 4.99

Overall I was quite pleased with the variety. I would never pay over $6 for a mini watermelon, but it was still fun to try. All of the produce tasted fresh and delicious, and I would order from Freggies again. However, I feel their prices are a little high on some items (for example, I can get the exact same organic carrots from AmazonFresh for cheaper).

I enjoyed having to find recipes in order to use some of these vegetables, and overall it was a very pleasant experience!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

1st attempt at recreating a masterprice

Earlier this week I posted about going to Bainbridge Island for a quick day-trip, and while we were there we visited the Mora Iced Creamery. We each tried 2 different flavors of ice cream, and while I don't recall 3 of those flavors I do remember one: Cheesecake with Brownies. Perhaps one of the most amazing ice creams I've ever delicious I don't even have words to describe it.

Long story short, I wanted to try and recreate this ice cream. This was my first attempt, and while it was pretty good, it just wasn't as good as the original. This one had a little too much sour cream/cream cheese flavor.

The search continues...

Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients:8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup light cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

I used this recipe for the brownies.Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth, pulsing several times. Pour into container, seal tightly, and refrigerate until well chilled.When ice cream base is chilled, process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Add brownie pieces in last 5 minutes of the cycle. Place finished ice cream in a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze immediately. If desired, crumble extra brownies on top of ice cream before serving.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Farmer's Market

In early September, the hubs and I took a quick day-trip over to Bainbridge Island. We took the ferry over, which is a short 35-minute ride and then walked in to the tiny town of Winslow. We wandered into a little farmer's market, and I took some pics of all of the different booths. There was a surprising variety of booths for such a tiny town! While we didn't buy anything, we still enjoyed roaming around looking at all of the pretty vegetables and home-made items.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wrap me lettuce

The first time I ever had lettuce wraps was at PF Changs. I loved the idea; they just seemed so fresh and a wonderful change to the standard tortilla. The PF Changs version is very heavy on the sodium, so I wanted to find a lighter sodium option to make at home. These fit the bill! The apple gives it an interesting crunch but doesn't really affect the flavor. Top these with lots of vegetables!

Asian Lettuce Wraps
from Annie's Eats

For the sauce:
1½ tsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce

For the filling:
2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 green onions, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
2 cups mixed vegetables
½ green apple, finely chopped

To assemble:
Butter lettuce leaves, washed and separated
Shredded carrots for topping (optional)

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and mix to blend.

To make the filling, heat a skillet on high heat with cooking oil. Once the pan is hot, add the garlic, ginger and green onions to the pan, and stir fry for a few seconds, just until fragrant. Add the ground turkey or chicken, breaking into small pieces, and cook until almost cooked through. Add the vegetables to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the sauce and cook for about 1 minute until thickened slightly. Add the apples to the pan and toss to coat. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.Serve the filling in lettuce "cups" and top with shredded carrots, if desired.