Monthly Archives: March 2012

What do you do if beer isn’t an option?

I’ve mentioned being a “lightweight” before – that’s something I’ve always been conscious of and just had to work around. I primarily just watch the ABV of beers and maintain a lot of self-awareness. I am (I think we all are) glad beer is alcoholic, because without it, beer would simply be something else (a whole other discussion entirely). But I would be perfectly content if all beer was 4% ABV. I really would. I would get to try more than one at a time!

That’s been a challenge, but I deal with it and use to help me appreciate the beer in front of me. It also allows me to spend a little more on that one beer. (I can actually afford to have a sour!) However, and here’s the more personal bit, I’ve recently started taking medicine that does not mix well with alcohol. It isn’t terribly serious or dangerous, but simply having one, say Upland Wheat (4.8%!) makes me feel like I’ve had five, and pretty much results in a mild/ugggghhh hangover no matter how much water I drink or how much food I eat beforehand. Essentially, it’s making me feel terrible.

So what’s a girl to do?

I’m going to take a break from beer for a while, and see if cutting that out helps things at all. Word on the street is that making soup helps.

Normally I would write out the recipe, even if I don’t change anything, because usually with baking I write different or more specific directions. But this soup was so easy and had such few steps that I’m going to direct you right to (never home)maker’s Easy Thai Mushroom Soup…now I don’t know how mine ended up looking like broth instead of coconut soup, but it still tasted delicious. The one thing I would add, though, is that I preferred this on the second day after all the flavors were able to develop and get a lot spicier.

We’ll see how this goes, and if anyone has suggestions on the “no beer” adventure, I’m all ears!


cutest whisk in the world!

I bow down to this genius…Irish Car Bomb Pie. I’m convinced anyone who reads that will have the urge to step in the kitchen and try it themselves. I’m hoping to have a really special occasion so I can justify spending the time and ingredients making layers upon layers of goodness. (Thanks Newg!)

Guide to affordable beers (at Pete the Planner, by Mike from HBG)

Most common cooking mistakes…aahhh (via Put it in Your Face)

Super simple, but this party popcorn looks like fun

I really like this infographic “How beer saved the world

This is already a week old (it’s crazy how quickly things come and go on the interwebs, isn’t it?) but in case you haven’t seen it, the cupcake vending machine

Wall Street Journal turns its eye to rye beer (I really just pictured the eye of Sauron looking around…)

The video on Joy the Baker’s newest post on quiche made me tear up a little…she’s an inspiration in more ways than one, for sure

I want to make these Bacon Oatmeal Raisin cookies all the time.

While we’re having a few days of 60 degree weather (as opposed to the 70s and 80s) I’d like to make clam chowder for the first time

So I haven’t really done my homework this week…As we’re still having jump-for-joy weather, I have been avoiding “indoors” as much as possible. Consequently, that means I’ve also been avoiding computers and blog posts. Instead I have sore legs from running, blisters from being at the driving range too much too soon, the start of my cycling shorts tan line, a window open every night, and a little sunburn. And it’s made extremely happy. This all has been making me so happy.

Aforementioned running. We have a river trail here in Muncie, and it’s been delightfully busy every day. Plus, there are so many dogs out now!

Every spring I forget about golf blisters…ouch. But that forces me to work on my short game (which needs a lot of work if I may say so). I have about fifteen people I want to play with, but I have also forgotten about how much energy it takes just to hit! My upper body strength has always been lacking, but I’m working my way up. A round can’t be too far away.

Beers outside? Yes, please. Muncie is not lacking for good bars when it comes to beer. We’re extremely spoiled here when it comes to variety (for a town of our size), price, and selection, but one thing we desperately need is a bar with outdoor seating downtown. There used to be a great restaurant The Landing that had converted their back alley into a really cool patio/porch area, but alas, they’re closed now. (And for those of you who may care to notice, I’ve been enamored with spring nail polish colors.)

And bike rides. One of my very favorite parts of spring/summer are early morning rides, when the sun is just up, the air is cool, and barely anyone is on the roads/greenway. It’s just so quiet and peaceful, a refreshing way to start your day, and truly my favorite way to see Indiana.

And finally, a lot of dresses, skirts, and sandals. So many dresses. So so many dresses.

The weather in Indiana lately has everyone jumping for joy and glancing sideways, half-scared to believe this is real. Highs of 78 degrees F? Sun most days? Isn’t March supposed to be 45 degrees F and rainy? I’m not complaining, believe me. Quite the contrary, I really feel like I’ve woken up from some sort of winter hibernation. Can you believe that it’s March already? October, November, December, January, and February flew by in a cold, grey haze for me. Now I’m on my bed in front of two open windows, Weekend Edition Sunday on, contemplating which sundress to wear, and watching a foggy sunrise.

The last several days I’ve taken every opportunity I could to connect to the outdoors. At work, we’ve been keeping our doors wide open all day, and after 5 pm I’ve been running and afterwards planting myself on the back patio until it’s dark.

With the opportunity to run outdoors again (in shorts no less!), I’m taking a second look at my eating habits. I bake a lot, obviously, and I’m never going to stop doing that. I love it, it brings me peace, and makes me happy. However, I’ve never really developed basic cooking skills and frankly, I don’t eat true dinners. I’m more of a snack, sandwich, easy meal kind of person – I’d much rather spend that time figuring out a new cake or pie! But I’ve realized how beneficial actually making a decent dinner can be: first, balanced meals are always a good thing for our health, and second, I would like to be able to make more than three grown-up meals. There are only so many times I can make breakfast for dinner and have it be charming, you know? I’m going to see what I can do here to work on that, and if any of you are culinary-inclined and have suggestions for me, I’m all ears!

Anyways, like I’ve said, I’ve simply been enjoying the new weather, having a beer outside, and so I haven’t been spending as much time in the kitchen or at the computer. But if you look up at the top you’ll see a new page: Link Love. I’ve listed some beer and food blogs (alphabetically) I regularly read, enjoy, and would recommend you check out. As I find more blogs that I add to my daily reading, this list may change, contract, or expand, and I would love suggestions for new ones to read or explore.

1. This ran in the IndyStar yesterday regarding artwork on beer bottles/cans, and even better, about three Indiana breweries’ artwork (Sun King, New Albanian, Three Floyd’s)

2. I wish I had known about these when I was in Paris

3. On falling in love, from Steinbeck

4. UGH. I’m so disappointed “I hate fancy beer…” was featured on the “Good Men Project”

5. Such an interesting and informative bit about professional nosing/tasting of whisky (via It’s Just the Booze Dancing)

6. “Scientific proof” that women hate beards? Bull.

7. In case you’ve done the impossible, and have some thin mints leftover, My Baking Addiction has a creative recipe for you.

8. Troegs Beertography contest! Some seriously pretty pictures

9. You know you want to make these Irish Coffee Blondies on Saturday

10. This made me smile…photographing NYC subway riders reading

(My picture today wasn’t technically beer/baking related, but we’ve been
having fantastic mornings in Indiana lately. Simply breathtaking.)

The Basics
Johnny Drum
Straight Bourbon Whiskey
86 proof / 43% ABV
4 Years

All in all
I liked the Overholt in general better than this, but it was still enjoyable.

Honey/amber with tiny slowwww droplets for legs. The 80 year old lady in a Buick Park Avenue I was driving behind was moving faster than these.

take 1: so aromatic it almost made me sneeze
take 2: pepper & browned butter

Not really cedar this time, but more like the stock wood shavings from my father’s woodworking in his garage as well as dark carmel. And for all the fanfare of its aroma, there wasn’t as much initial burn as I expected.

I’m all sorts of green in the world of whisk(e)y, so this will be brief and I’ll ask for your patience and understanding with my opinions. I certainly enjoy a glass every now and then, but the price point (as compared to beer) means I need to make a more significant investment in trying new spirits. I mean, I’m okay spending around $15 on a mixer sixer with all new great beers, but spending that on a bottle of liquor I haven’t had at all before is a hard decision to make. Additionally, beer in Muncie is a lot more accessible than trying out different whisk(e)y. But! Some of my family brought back goodies from Kentucky, and I really want to share what I’ve had the opportunity to try lately.

The basics
Old Overholt (Say that five times fast)
Straight Rye Whiskey
80 proof / 40% ABV
4 Years

All in all
Thumbs up. Plus, I think the price is pretty reasonable at $16.99. I wouldn’t mind picking one up at the store to have on hand. Sidenote: don’t attempt to have a Founders Double Trouble after a glass of this…those two flavors do not mesh well.

Light copper, with legs that hung on for dear life

Vanilla bean and brown sugar

Cedar, then lingering vanilla aftertaste