Sunday, July 27, 2014

Brew Review: Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Citra Victorious


Beer: Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Citra Victorious
Date: 7-17-14
Type: Pale Ale
Location: Boston, MA
Availability: Limited to 100 barrel's
Alochol: 5.8%
IBU: 45


"This sessionable pale ale is loaded with Citra hops and grapefruit peel, for a unique citrus character". 

Appearance: Golden, nice head retention, little amount of carbonation bubbles rising to the top

Aroma: Intense pine hops, slight alcohol, light malt

Body & Texture: Smooth and velvety, full bodied, not much carbonation

Aftertaste: Hoppy!

"In 2013, we (Carolyn, Jessie, Liz, Merrill, and Shannon) won the battle for the Harpoon Kettle Cup, our annual employee brewing competition. Our shared love of IPAs and citrus fruit inspired this grapefruit infused pale ale. Like the team that brewed it, this session able pale ale is easy-going and full of character". 


Overall Impression: 
Janine from The Purple Giraffe blog contacted me on Twitter to do a beer swap. She asked for me to send her some Pliny the Elder and she would send me different beers from the East Coast that we can't get here on the West Coast. I've been asked in the past to do this for people and have never obliged, but I decided that for Janine I would. She wanted to give it to her friend for a wedding gift. Plus, she's pretty awesome. One of the beers she sent me was this Harpoon 100 Barrel Series. I'm happy she did because it's my first ever Harpoon beer!

At first I wasn't really digging the aroma. I thought I was smelling an alcohol aroma but that seemed to go away, thankfully. I really liked the color a lot. My only complaint would be that the carbonation was not as much as I tend to like. I felt that the beer got tastier the more I drank it and the more it warmed up, so that was nice. It has a big emphasis on the citra hops, and I could tell that in the taste more than the aroma. This is a pretty bitter pale ale. The IBU's are about the same as Lagunitas IPA, so if you aren't a fan of IPA's you probably wouldn't be a fan of this pale ale either. If this beer were available on the West Coast, I would probably buy it again for myself.

This beer was made up by five women employees from Harpoon. Harpoon does an employee brewing competition every year and this was the winner. It was fun drinking a beer that I knew women had made up. This beer made me really wish I could try more Harpoon beers, and it also makes me want to visit the brewery!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Pot Asian Shrimp Pasta


Oh, July...you've been so darn full of plans and commitments. You're exhausting me. There's been birthday's, dinner dates, Fourth of July weekend away from home, an anniversary, appointments, and planning for a bachelorette party.

As I blogged about earlier in the week, it was mine and David's one year anniversary. I'm a planner through and through, so our plan was to hit up the outlet mall in Napa on Sunday and shop for new clothes for David's new job starting in August, as well as find him an outfit for our friend's Max and Maren's wedding -- also in August. After shopping we had a reservation set for 6:30 at El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma.

Well, as life would have it, none of the above happened. I guess my body was telling me that between work, working out, and making plans in between every free minute, it got sick and tired. Ugh, I hate when that happens. Especially on a day when I had so much fun planned! I won't go into details but my day was literally spent in bed except for around 7 pm when we decided to cut into our year old top tier of our cake.


The cake doesn't look too bad, right?! I was super excited and surprised that my wrap job had totally saved our cake from freezer burn. I was also surprised to find out the top tier was carrot cake. We had two different cake flavors at our wedding but for some reason I thought the top tier was a lemon raspberry. I was happy to find out it was not! Anyway, besides sharing a slice of cake, mine and David's first wedding anniversary was a total flop. We're already looking back and laughing at how bad it was. It really could have been out of a comedy show it was so pathetic. At least we both know we have more anniversaries in the future.


Anyway! Since I was sick on Sunday, which is normally my meal planning/grocery shopping day, I had to do it on Monday. I quickly picked out recipes when I got home, made my list, and headed to the store. When I got home from the store I immediately got started on this one pot meal. One pot meals are my favorite type of dinners. I think David likes that they require less dishes too.


I'm so glad I took the time to snap a few photos before digging in because it was delicious! Not only was the meal easy to put together, just about 30 minutes, but the flavor was out of this world tasty. The hardest part about this dinner is the chopping. There is a lot of chopping involved but once you get everything in that pot, you're good to go. While it was simmering away I made a side salad, and before we knew it it was time to feast! Garnish these noodle bowls with cilantro, chopped peanuts, and a wedge of lime and you're in for a treat!

One Pot Asian Shrimp Pasta
Adapted from Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts

12 oz linguine, broken in half
3 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 large carrot, shredded or julienne
3 green onions, sliced thin
1 pound large shrimp, deveined and shelled
Garnishments: cilantro, peanuts, lime

Directions:
In a large pot over high heat; combine linguine through shrimp and cover with lid. Once it reaches a boil, take lid off, reduce heat to a simmer, stir and place lid back on. Stir every 2 minutes for up to 10 minutes or until noodles are cooked and liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat and garnish.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

June in Review

I know, it's almost the middle of July and here I am posting a June recap. Let's just say that in the summer blogging definitely takes a back seat. Must be all that fun I'm having on the weekends rather than photographing new recipes.


First weekend in June we started the month off right by taking Ryder swimming at Sonoma Regional Park. Afterwards we barbecued which happened many times throughout the month.


My birthday weekend David and I headed to Doran Beach with Ryder where he had a blast swimming out in the ocean for his toy as well as being a free spirit and digging to his hearts content. We enjoyed deli sandwiches from Ned's and beers.


On my actual birthday my family and I went out to dinner at the Glen Ellen Star. We ordered a bottle of Gundlach Bundschu ("Gun-lock Bun-Shoe") Gwertz. It was quite tasty and now I want to go wine tasting there.


All of our items were delicious. I loved all their vegetable starters that came in cast iron skillets, but this was my pork belly entree. No complaints here!


My birthday ended sweet when I opened up my gift; a Vitamix! My dreams have come true. I've used this every day since opening it. I love my green smoothies in the morning.


Later in the week our friends Jeff & Debby took us out to Zazu in Sebastopol for dinner to celebrate my birthday. It was so much fun. We drank a delicious pinot from Cartograph, had yummy drinks, appetizers, and delicious entrees. We ended the night at Sub Zero Ice Cream for dessert. I'm very lucky to have such great friends!


The next weekend I met my friend Ali in the city for lunch at Outer Lands. Afterwards we had coffee, explored the city, and ended up walking probably a mile or two on the beach under fog. I still ended up with a sun burnt face despite the fog. It was fun catching up with Ali and exploring San Francisco with her. She always knows the best spots and doesn't mind driving me around.


My mom and I explored Foothills Regional Park on a Friday after work in 95 degree weather. We were dead afterwards, but the view was worth it, and nothing tasted better than a beer afterwards.


The next day David and I headed back out to Doran Beach to escape the heat. Which we totally did! It was foggy and rather chilly out there but Ryder didn't mind one bit. He is obsessed with swimming in the ocean after his toy.


When we got home we made turkey burgers for dinner and I started the process of skinning and slicing up fresh California peaches to freeze for my smoothies. It's so much more affordable that way and doesn't take much effort at all.


That Sunday I met up with Debby for a hike with Ryder around Foothills Regional Park. It was nice having some girlfriend time to catch up. We were lucky enough to have people up at the lookout point who took a picture of us. Afterwards we grabbed an iced latte at my favorite coffee shop, Blue Beagle.


For the last weekend in June we headed out to the beach once again. It was beautiful weather except for the dang wind! We braved the high winds for a couple hours, and Ryder was happy to have some of his friends with him this time. I swear, dogs were meant to live at the beach. It was nice having Eric and Malia with us since they are moving back to San Luis Obispo and we won't see them until their wedding in August.


After the beach we headed out to Red Car's tasting room since they allow dogs and we had three with us on a super hot day. The dogs were all chill from their exciting adventure at the beach, so they just laid down. We enjoyed an amazing tasting with so many of their wines, wines that aren't even listed. We ended up buying their Rose' of Pinot Nior and the 2010 Sonoma Coast Syrah. We're excited to open those bottles soon, though I am digging the way they look on our wine rack.

June was definitely filled with lots of fun. More so than usual, but it was also stressful and at times disappointing with David working so hard on his job search. In the end it all worked out and already July has proved to be giving June a run for it's money.

Hope your summer is going great! I'm going to try to get back to blogging more soon, but until then just know I'm probably out enjoying the beautiful weather.
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