Taking Back My Twenties

Posts Tagged "Beer"

East Coast Easter

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 | 10 comments

I got to spend Easter with the family! I headed to my sister’s house in Charlottesville, VA, and both my parents and Matt’s parents came from their states to join us!

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No visit with my brother-in-law is complete without a beer tasting! Kanz brews his own beer and is always interested in feedback/discussion. We kicked off the weekend by comparing two different years of barleywine with the Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine. All were delicious!

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My mom and dad are pretty incredible grandparents to little Mazen and offered to take over the parenting responsibilities so the four of us could enjoy dinner on the town.

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We walked to Bang! on the Charlottesville mall – it felt freezing to my Texas blood and I wore a wool coat and scarf:)

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We sat at the bar while we waited for a table – I sipped on a cocktail made with bourbon and lemongrass simple syrup – delicious!

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I think we ordered nine small plates for the four of us. I won’t bore you with descriptions of all of them, but my absolute favorites were the pork spring rolls,

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the Thai beef with soba noodles, bok choy, and cilantro sauce,

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the sesame tuna,

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and the tempura haricot vert!

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On Saturday, I went to a crazy athletic conditioning class with my sister – it was hard, but pretty similar to my regular Saturday morning class, and I felt incredible afterwards!

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Matt, my parents, and I headed out to the countryside for some wine tasting mid-morning. I think we all have our eyes closed in this picture. We met Matt’s parents at Barboursville and enjoyed tasting some great Virginia wines.

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And a picnic!

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Great Harvest sandwiches, crab chips from Maryland, and a dry riesling made for the perfect lunch.

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Saturday afternoon, we all retired to my sister’s giant yard for bocce ball and conversation.

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Our hosts cooked an awesome spread of pulled pork, beet salad, mushroom and pea risotto, and Virginia rolls fresh from the bakery!

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But some of us were most excited for dessert!

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Cupcakes, peanut butter fudge, and chocolate truffles rounded out Easter dinner, and I went to bed stuffed.

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We all gathered on Sunday morning for brunch, and then it was back to the airport to start the long trip home:(

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Hope yall got to relax this weekend too, if you celebrate the holiday. It’s always sad saying goodbye, but there’s lots going on here this week! Positive vibes are always welcome if you want to send them my way:)

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Friday Night Kirin Pairing

Posted on Apr 13, 2014 | 10 comments

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

It was a beautiful spring weekend in Dallas! I did some cooking and cleaning, and we celebrated a friend’s birthday on Saturday. It was great to take it easy. And I drank Kirin! I was excited to have the opportunity to prepare an Asian-inspired dish to pair with the Japanese-style beer. I’d had Kirin before and always loved how the crisp taste balanced out spicy or bold Asian dishes, so I was happy to drink it again. Plus, I like the challenge of preparing a new-to-me recipe, since I tend to stick with my favorites. If you’re looking for new recipe ideas, celebrity chef Candice Kumai will be sharing new ideas and pairing tips on Kirin’s Facebook page. Kirin has partnered with chef Kumai to help bring its beer to the growing Asian food scene.

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If you aren’t familiar with the beer, it’s 100-percent malt with subtle flavor upfront and a smooth, clean finish. I’d actually never had the Kirin Light before – It’s very similar, but without as much full flavor upfront. I’m not a huge light beer person, but I’d definitely pick this over American light beers:) The brewery is one of Japan’s oldest, dating back to 1888!

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I decided on a Japanese chicken and noodle dish, and I bought some shrimp to add as well. Both of the above ingredients were new to me! To compliment the noodle dish, I found a recipe for shiitake slaw.

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I chopped all my veggies ahead of time, so Matt and I could enjoy beers on the porch when he got home from work. The weather was fantastic!

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Once all the ingredients were prepped, this meal came together quickly on the stove top.

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How cute is this little bowl that arrived along with the Kirin? It was the perfect size for my side of shiitake slaw, which was delicious. I love mushrooms now, which is funny, because I used to be so afraid of them!

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To be honest, I actually didn’t love the noodle dish. The black bean paste was a prominent flavor, and I wasn’t a fan. But the Kirin washed it down nicely and paired beautifully with the heat from the hot sesame oil:) And Matt really liked the Kirin Light (I drank the regular with dinner).

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As much as I enjoy eating out, I’ve started to really love when we stay in and cook on Friday evenings. Thanks to Kirin for sending beer to my door step!

Hope you guys had great weekends too!

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Pizza Friday & A Trinity Groves Outing

Posted on Feb 10, 2014 | 3 comments

Happy Monday! We’ve got freezing rain on the way here in Dallas:( I’m heading to the east coast tomorrow to visit my family, and I hope I can get out! For now, a recap of my weekend.

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Friday was cold and wet, so Matt and I opted to get cozy on the couch and not do a thing. We opened a bottle of Italian pinot grigio and watched Cloud Atlas, which was super weird. Loved Tom Hanks though!

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I made a glorious bbq chicken pizza with sheep’s manchego, Stubb’s spicy sauce, banana peppers, and cilantro. So satisfying.

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Low key Fridays make for the best Saturday mornings! I was up bright and early and enjoyed breakfast and tea before bootcamp. Matt and I ventured into the warmer temps with an afternoon walk, and I scored a pair of black dress pants for $14 at the Loft.

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We headed down to the new Trinity Groves development to check out Local Urban Craft Kitchen (LUCK) for a beer before dinner. The beers on the menu are exclusively from Texas and all $5 (prices for high abv craft beers seem to really be rising these days). I enjoyed a cherry chocolate double brown stout from Deep Ellum Brewing Co. It was heavenly.

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For dinner, we tried at Resto Gastro Bistro, a few doors down from LUCK. The space was dark and elegant with exposed brick and a wooden bar and tables. My camera died at this point, so I had to use my phone for the pictures:( We started with the above tempura rock Shrimp wraps with vermicelli noodles, black truffle aioli, and ponzu vinaigrette. I didn’t expect them to be fried, but they were pretty darn good that way!

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Matt and I shared two entrees! The pan-seared lemon sole with piquillo pepper hummus, and the oven roasted pork shank with lemon goat cheese polenta, crispy pig, and balsamic-pomegranate glaze. The sole was tasty, but a little plain, but the pork was incredible! I’m not a huge pork rind person and there were a boat load of onions to get rid of, but the actual meat with the glaze and lemon polenta were a killer combination!

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Unfortunately, our waiter was very short with us, and definately didn’t want to answer questions about the wine list or the food. I ended up with a lovely cabernet, and the waiter cleared it from the table when I still had some left – that’s the worst! So, overall, I’d highly recommend the food, but I’m not so sure about the service – will have to try it again some day.

Sunday involved a little bowling action with friends at Bowlounge. I wish I could say I’m getting better, but I’m not quite yet! Soon, though:)

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Have a happy week.

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Friends at the Moth

Posted on Jan 27, 2014 | 5 comments

You guys are the best. People have been coming out of the woodwork since last week – I really appreciate the support!

It was nice relaxing in Dallas this week – we had great weather and lots of good eats.

Matt and I grabbed tacos at Mr. Mesero on Friday night. My pork and shrimp tacos were kinda boring, but I loved all the sides and the chips and salsa. I think Urban Taco is still the winner for cheap tacos!

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The highlight of our weekend was meeting friends for dinner at the Meddlesome Moth! I had been once before last spring and was excited to go back because the beer selection is ridiculous. I had a Belgian-Saison hybrid and a Belgian quad. Mmmm.

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The menu is mostly small plates, so we shared some chili mussels,

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a shrimp and crab chopped salad,

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the collard greens with cornbread,

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and the agave ribs. Everything we ordered was fantastic, but the ribs were especially delicious with the sweet glaze.

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Sunday was 70!!! I was super sore from a bootcamp class on Saturday and knew a rest/walking day would feel good. Matt and I walked to the coffee shop for a fun drink and a couple of hours or work, and then later in the day we walked to The Rustic for a beer. Though I had been talking about this place for months, I had never set foot inside. It was packed, but there was plenty of room in ‘the yard’ to sit in the grass and enjoy the live music.

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Relaxing in the sunshine with a summery beer was the perfect way to wrap up the weekend.

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Snapshots from Puerto Vallarta

Posted on Jan 21, 2014 | 25 comments

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I absolutely fell in love with Puerto Vallarta! I can’t believe this paradise is just two hours from Dallas. The food, the people, and the scenery were wonderful. Matt spoke Spanish as much as possible, and we chatted with so many interesting people and got to know the staff at the resort. We ate amazingly fresh seafood, consumed as much guacamole as humanly possible, and sipped margaritas and cervezas a little too often. One of the highlights was a mountain bike trip we took into the countryside. We rode through little villages, saw beautiful birds, and were surrounded by lush forests. If you’re ever in Puerto Vallarta, I highly recommend La Leche and Cafe des Artistes for dinner, and EcoRide bike tours for a challenging excursion!

Thanks for all your kind words and strong opinions on my previous post. I guess you can see why I haven’t shared much during this job search period:) I really appreciate the supportive comments – thank you for understanding that this is a frustrating time!

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