Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beer Making: Part 1

Mike received a beer making kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop for Christmas, and we were excited to brew up our first batch together - a Chestnut Brown Ale. Although it was all completely new to me (unless watching Brew Masters counts....), Mike had done a little bit of brewing before, so we weren't both newbies! Our set-up in the kitchen was pretty extensive:

Getting started: our mix, roasted and peeled chestnuts, checking the water temperature, and adding in the grain ("mashing in").

Collecting the wort (the liquid from the hot grain mash above). Hana was extremely interested in what was going on, and didn't mind a bit when we accidentally splashed some wort on the floor, she quickly lapped it all up!

We collected about six gallons of wort, boiled it, added in hops and the chestnuts, and after about an hour, set it in an ice bath to cool.

Next we added in yeast, and then had to remain patient for two weeks while the beer fermented. Next up - bottling!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Comfy Time!

My super talented cousin designed this pattern, and Banana Republic purchased the pattern to use on lounge wear for their 2010 Holiday Collection. How cool is that!?!?

As you can see, I got a pair of pajama bottoms, I love them! Her pattern is also used on a grey over-sized pajama top (I couldn't get my hands on that piece unfortunately). If you want a pair for yourself, the bottoms are on sale for only $15. And thanks to a helpful tip, I learned that you can call any Banana Republic Factory Store, and they'll ship them to you for only $5!

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

I've mentioned my love of Jeni's ice cream before, and now guess where it's available?! Oh yes, in our grocer's freezer! I'm slowing trying to work my way through all of the flavors (and no, Mike doesn't seem to be complaining about this new quest!)

One of the first up was Oakvale Young Gouda with Vodka Cranberries. The super-cheesy gouda base paired really nicely with the vodka soaked cranberries, they were a perfect complement to each other - but - I couldn't get over the cheesy ice cream taste sensation. Interesting, but not a repeat purchaser.

We also tried the Queen City Cayenne - that one went too quickly to photograph! A rich creamy chocolate base with an intense fiery kick at the end - really unique, but a definitely winner in my book!